Application of an automated immunomagnetic separation-enzyme immunoassay for the detection of Salmonella spp. during an outbreak associated with a retail premises

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AimsThe application of an automated immunomagnetic separation-enzyme immunoassay (AIMS-EIA) during the investigation of a suspected outbreak of Salmonella food poisoning at a retail premises.Methods and ResultsSix food samples and 24 environmental swabs were taken from the retail premises and six food handlers' submitted faecal samples during the investigation of the outbreak. Isolation and identification of Salmonella from these samples was performed according to established standard operating procedures and by AIMS-EIA. Twelve of the 18 (67%) Salmonella culture positive samples were AIMS-EIA positive on testing pre-enrichment samples after 24 h, whilst 17 (94%) samples were AIMS-EIA positive following selective enrichment for a further 48 h. One food handler was found to be positive for Salmonella by both culture and AIMS-EIA. All Salmonella isolates were confirmed as Salmonella Enteritidis phagetype 21c.ConclusionsThe AIMS-EIA protocol compliments the conventional culture approach to produce more timely results for the management of the risk to public health without significantly increasing the workload of the laboratory.Significance and Impact of the StudyThe food production premise investigated in this study was heavily contaminated with Salmonella Enteritidis. Application of the AIMS-EIA was significant in the effective intervention of control measures for the protection of public health.

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