Immunomagnetic separation of Escherichia coli O26, O111 and O157 from vegetables

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Aims:Raw fruits and vegetables have been increasingly associated with human infections caused by Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli. This study evaluates the isolation and detection of E. coli O26, O111 and O157 from vegetable samples using immunomagnetic particles.Methods and Results:Standard cultivation and immunomagnetic separation (IMS) procedures were compared. It was found that immunomagnetic particles could efficiently concentrate E. coli cells, detecting significantly more bacteria than with standard cultivation procedures.Conclusions:Bacteria were detected in 93–100% of the inoculated samples using the IMS procedure, but only 36–93% samples tested by standard cultivation procedures were found to be positive.Significance and Impact of the Study:The results indicate that E. coli O26, O111 and O157 immunomagnetic particles can be a very useful and efficient tool for the detection of E. coli strains in raw vegetables, and could probably be used with samples of animal origin.

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