MAY 07, 2020 6:45 AM PDT

An 8 Minute DNA Test For Salmonella

WRITTEN BY: Tara Fernandez

Australian researchers have created a sensitive, super-fast test for five different serotypes of Salmonella which could dramatically reduce incidences of food poisoning in public health settings. As reported in the Journal of Molecular Diagnostics, the scientists observed that their newly-developed assay was extremely sensitive, capable of detecting trace amounts of bacterial DNA in as little as eight minutes.

The research team believes that this new test is a significant step up from labour-intensive, expensive and time-consuming conventional bacterial culture methods — drastically simplifying food safety testing and the tracking of Salmonella-induced outbreaks in the community.

Salmonellosis, a disease caused by Salmonella infection, typically causes symptoms between 12 and 36 hours after consuming contaminated food. Diarrhea, fever, abdominal cramps, and vomiting often follow as bacteria quickly multiplies in the small intestine, triggering a massive inflammatory response. In the United States, over 1.3 million cases of Salmonellosis are reported annually, leading to over 26,000 hospitalizations and 420 deaths, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). Poor kitchen hygiene and contamination of food such as raw or undercooked meat, eggs and poultry are the most common causes of Salmonella outbreaks.

Ruiting Lan from the University of New South Wales, who led the research team said, "Salmonella in a clinical or food sample may be present in very small amounts and thus requires very sensitive methods to detect them. Multiple cross-displacement amplification (MCDA) is a method that can detect very small amounts of DNA rapidly and is also performed at a single constant temperature, in contrast to the cycling of temperatures required in other methods such as PCR. This makes it a good fit for a simple, rapid, and sensitive bacterial detection test."

The study authors chose five of the most common Salmonella strains in Australia, which are responsible for over 85 percent of infections among Australians. According to the team, these results can be extrapolated to strains that are prevalent in other parts of the world as well. The team plans to continue to validate their test in health, environment and food industry settings.

 

Sources: EurekAlert, Journal of Molecular Diagnostics.

 

About the Author
  • Tara Fernandez has a PhD in Cell Biology and has spent over a decade uncovering the molecular basis of diseases ranging from skin cancer to obesity and diabetes. She currently works on developing and marketing disruptive new technologies in the biotechnology industry. Her areas of interest include innovation in molecular diagnostics, cell therapies, and immunology. She actively participates in various science communication and public engagement initiatives to promote STEM in the community.
You May Also Like
JUL 30, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Laser Beams Vibrate Viruses to Distinguish Them
JUL 30, 2020
Laser Beams Vibrate Viruses to Distinguish Them
  In light of the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic, the importance of rapid viral diagnostics has really hit home. Classic ...
AUG 05, 2020
Cancer
A New Test to Analyze Cell-Free DNA in Cancer Diagnostics
AUG 05, 2020
A New Test to Analyze Cell-Free DNA in Cancer Diagnostics
Cell-free DNA (cfDNA) are small pieces of genomic DNA that have escaped into the bloodstream either through active relea ...
AUG 13, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
A Call for Bigger, Better Studies on AI Breast Cancer Diagnostics
AUG 13, 2020
A Call for Bigger, Better Studies on AI Breast Cancer Diagnostics
A staggering 1 in 8 women in the U.S. will develop an aggressive form of breast cancer in their lifetime, making it the ...
AUG 25, 2020
Cardiology
Doing More with Less: Making the Diagnosis of Heart Damage Easier for Patients
AUG 25, 2020
Doing More with Less: Making the Diagnosis of Heart Damage Easier for Patients
Cardiovascular health can be a tricky thing to diagnose. Sometimes it can be done with simple heart rate and blood press ...
SEP 14, 2020
Clinical & Molecular DX
Cell Line Authentication Using STR Analysis
SEP 14, 2020
Cell Line Authentication Using STR Analysis
Imagine you’re studying colon cancer using a colon cell line model. After three painstaking years of research, you ...
SEP 21, 2020
Cancer
The Protein ETV1 May Act as a Biomarker for Gastrointestinal Cancer
SEP 21, 2020
The Protein ETV1 May Act as a Biomarker for Gastrointestinal Cancer
Cancer is an incredibly diverse disease. It has many types and even sub-types, with a vast range of characteristics. Som ...
Loading Comments...