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Study to investigate and establish the best methods for detection of Campylobacter in red meat production and accurate methods for enumeration
Project Code: M01033
Baylis, C ; Anslow, P; Munro, K
The findings of this study have highlighted important procedural and practical aspects of Campylobacter methodology that can be improved to maximise recovery and detection of thermotolerant Campylobacter spp from red meat samples. These included using two isolation media in parallel, streaking enriched samples only after 48h and re-inspecting plates for up to 5 days after the initial 48h incubation of plates. In addition this study provided evidence of the survival rate of Campylobacter on sponges used to sample meat surfaces and approaches that can be followed to maintain viability during transport to the laboratory. Whilst sterile water is the desired wetting agent for sponges, samples must be tested within 4h to ensure isolation. If sponge samples are to be stored for >4h or sent to a laboratory for testing, the addition of Bolton broth base + haemin does improve isolation. For the enumeration of Campylobacter spp. from poultry samples this study demonstrated that certain methods, notably the Most Probable Number (MPN) technique, are unsuitable. Direct plating appeared reasonably reliable although the uncertainty associated with the method warrants closer examination in light of reports from other researchers. Certain molecular methods Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) showed promise. Real Time Quantitative PCR (RT-QPCR) which was not used in this study warrants further investigation.
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