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To evaluate an improved bioluminescent enzyme immunoassay (BEIA) using biotinylated firefly luciferase for the rapid detection of Salmonella in naturally contaminated chicken meat samples.Capture agents and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) extraction reagents for Salmonella were investigated to improve the sensitivity of the BEIA. Also, the use of Oxoid SPRINT (Simple Pre-enrichment and Rapid Isolation New Technology) as a pre-enrichment and selective medium for 26-h BEIA detection of Salmonella in chicken meat samples was examined. The use of polymyxin B as a capture agent on solid support and 3-[(3-Cholamidopropyl) dimethylammonio] propanesulfonic acid (CHAPS) for extraction of the LPS facilitated sensitive detection of Salmonella. Of 120 chicken meat samples, 25 samples were positive using the improved BEIA with the SPRINT and 25 samples were positive using the SPRINT followed by the standard isolation methods.The improved BEIA, in which polymxin B was used as a capture agent and CHAPS was used for extraction of the antigen, had a sensitivity of 96·0% and a specificity of 98·9% for the detection of Salmonella in chicken meat.The improved BEIA combined with the SPRINT medium for the detection of Salmonella in chicken meat samples produced comparable results to the culture methods in 26 h.