Improved isolation of Escherichia coli O157 using large enrichment volumes for immunomagnetic separation

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The recovery of low numbers of Escherichia coli O157 in foods by immunomagnetic separation (IMS) was improved, on average, ninefold by increasing the enrichment volume tested from 1 to 10 ml while maintaining the volume of immunobeads constant at 0.02 ml. Although 50 ml volumes also gave improved recoveries (approximately threefold), the 50 ml volume cannot be recommended until a suitable magnetic separation apparatus has been developed. By testing 10 ml volumes, the improved sensitivity of the IMS procedure will reduce false-negative E. coli O157 tests and help improve epidemiological studies of this pathogen.

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