New DNA Test Detects Salmonella In Just Minutes

Wednesday, May 6th, 2020 | 1344 Views

Researches at University of New South Wales (UNSW) Sydney have developed a series of sensitive DNA assays to rapidly and accurately identify the five most common Salmonella subtypes in Australia. This new method simplifies further applications in clinical or industrial settings.

Salmonella is one of the most common causes of foodborne illness in the world—transmitted through consumption of contaminated food such as eggs, meat, poultry and milk. According to the Center for Disease Control and Prevention, the bacteria causes 1.35 million infections, 26,500 hospitalisations and 420 deaths in US every year.

This Multiple Cross Displacement Amplification (MCDA) method detects tiny amounts of Salmonella DNA in just eight minutes and is performed at a constant temperature, unlike traditional time-consuming bacteria culture methods which also requires specialised equipment for temperature cycling.

“It is essential for public health investigators to have a fast, simple way of tracking down the source of Salmonella outbreaks – so, the ability to test for different types of Salmonella is important,” said senior author. Salmonella, whether it’s in a clinical or food sample – even in faecal matter – may exist in minute amounts and requires highly sensitive methods to detect,” said senior author, Professor Ruiting Lan.

Culture independent diagnostic tests which do not require laborious bacteria culture in the lab is becoming part of a global trend. With the increasingly interconnected and fast-moving food supply chain, more efficient tests are required to quickly identify and trace the origin of the pathogen.

“Down the track, our tests could be used in clinical diagnosis in determining the common serotypes that cause Salmonella disease, to analyse trends of serotypes for public health surveillance, and they could also have application in the food industry,” Professor Lan said.


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