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Phage-Based Assay for the Detection of Salmonella in Brazilian Poultry Products

Author(s): Nathanyelle Soraya Martins de Aquino, Susana de Oliveira Elias, Leonardo Vaz Alves Gomes, Eduardo Cesar Tondo

Salmonella is one of the most common microorganisms responsible for foodborne diseases worldwide, and its rapid and accurate detection is necessary for food safety. Bacteriophages are a promising tool for detecting bacterial foodborne pathogens due to their safety, specificity, rapid propagation, and capacity to differentiate living and dead cells. The PhageDx Salmonella Assay is a new Salmonella detection method composed of recombinant bacteriophages encoding a luciferase reporter gene. While this method has been validated in the United States to detect Salmonella in ground turkey and powdered infant formula, it has not been validated in other countries, and its performance in other matrices is unknown. In this study, the performance of the PhageDx Salmonella Assay was evaluated using Salmonella strains isolated in Brazil. 55 isolates from food and food processing environments in Brazil were examined and successfully detected using the recombinant bacteriophages employed by this method. As Brazil is the number one exporter of chicken globally, this method was also validated in several chicken-based food matrices. Using a pre-enrichment of 7 hours, it was possible to detect one CFU per 25 g on chicken meat, sausage, pâté, and chicken nuggets. The total analysis time was 9 hours, shorter than other Salmonella detection methods currently available. The method proved to be easy to execute, sensitive, and fast, making it a promising tool for the Brazilian poultry industry.

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