Rapid Quantification of Salmonella in Seafood Using Real-Time PCR Assay

  • Kumar, Rakesh (Microbiology, Fermentation and Biotechnology Division, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology) ;
  • Surendran, P.K. (Poothuvallil, Dr. Surendran Lane) ;
  • Thampuran, Nirmala (Microbiology, Fermentation and Biotechnology Division, Central Institute of Fisheries Technology)
  • Received : 2009.04.24
  • Accepted : 2009.11.01
  • Published : 2010.03.31


A quantitative detection method for Salmonella in seafood was developed using a SYBR Green-based real-time PCR assay. The assay was developed using pure Salmonella DNA at different dilution levels [i.e., 1,000 to 2 genome equivalents (GE)]. The sensitivity of the real-time assay for Salmonella in seeded seafood samples was determined, and the minimum detection level was 20 CFU/g, whereas a detection level of 2 CFU/ml was obtained for pure culture in water with an efficiency of ${\geq}85%$. The real-time assay was evaluated in repeated experiments with seeded seafood samples and the regression coefficient ($R^2$) values were calculated. The performance of the real-time assay was further assessed with naturally contaminated seafood samples, where 4 out of 9 seafood samples tested positive for Salmonella and harbored cells <100 GE/g, which were not detected by direct plating on Salmonella Chromagar media. Thus, the method developed here will be useful for the rapid quantification of Salmonella in seafood, as the assay can be completed within 2-3 h. In addition, with the ability to detect a low number of Salmonella cells in seafood, this proposed method can be used to generate quantitative data on Salmonella in seafood, facilitating the implementation of control measures for Salmonella contamination in seafood at harvest and post-harvest levels.


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