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Foods implicated in human campylobacteriosis include raw or undercooked poultry and raw dairy products. Because Campylobacter spp. are the most frequently reported cause of bacterial infection in the European Union and because conventional methods are cumbersome, rapid methods for Campylobacter detection and quantification in food are needed. With this study we sought to validate, according to the standard procedure (UNI EN ISO 16140:2003), an alternative to the reference analytical method (UNI EN ISO 10272- 1:2006) for official controls of Campylobacter spp. in raw milk and dairy products. Milk samples collected from 16 milk vending machines located throughout the Genoa metropolitan area were analyzed using two different methods, an enzymelinked fluorescent assay (ELFA) and a real-time PCR assay, and evaluated in parallel against the reference method. In addition, a total of 460 samples of raw milk collected from milk vending machines were analyzed by ELFA. Results obtained with ELFA showed it was compliant with UNI EN ISO 10272-1:2006 criteria and that the immunoassay had 100% sensitivity, specificity, and accuracy. Regarding samples of milk vending machines, 5.0% (23/460) tested positive at ELFA screening and were subsequently confirmed as C. jejuni. Validation according to UNI EN ISO 16140:2003 of the ELFA method suggests it may be a useful alternative to conventional methods for detecting Campylobacter spp. in official controls.
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