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Development and validation of an immunological method for the detection and characterisation of all VTEC in foodstuffs
Project Code: B09010
Institute of Food Research Enterprises Ltd
The consequence of verocytotoxin-producing E. coli (VTEC) infection is potentially very serious. Thus it is important to reduce the risk of infection by ensuring the safety of food from ‘farm to fork’. One important tool to achieve this is a simple, reliable, rapid method to detect all VTEC in food. To date, however, tests for the detection of VTEC in foodstuffs has been limited to those targeted at detection of just one VTEC type (E. coli O157), and their use has been mainly restricted to specialist laboratories. Since it is now recognised that many other types of VTEC are also important, it is necessary to have a method that will detect all VTEC. The purpose of this project was to develop a simple, easy to use, diagnostic tool that can be used in all laboratories for the simultaneous detection all VTEC and provides information on the type of VTEC present.
In this project, we have developed new prototype easy-to-use dipstick tests for detection and characterisation of VTEC and its verotoxins, at the same time in the same test. The dipstick were tested successfully using a range of foods that are possible sources of infection (raw apple juice, raw minced beef, raw milk and salami), and in many different laboratories.
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