Pathogen Combat Work Package (WP) 6: "Rescusication, enrichment and capture as prerequisite for rapid detection of low numbers of pathogens in food using molecular techniques"


This Ph.D. research is part of a European project, PathogenCombat ( The low infectious dose of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli O157:H7 (10-1000 cells), the severity of illness and the number of reported outbreaks imply the importance of sensitivity in detection methods of these microorganisms in foods. Because food, due to processing and preservation techniques (salting, acidification, packaging, etc.) presents non-optimal conditions for microorganisms, the pathogens are stressed and/or sub-lethally injured (Jasson et al. 2007). Overlooking the need for resuscitation may result in a significant risk of false negative results. Appropriate resuscitation and enrichment conditions need to favour resuscitation of sub-lethal injured L. monocytogenes cells and enable limited multiplication of the pathogen in order to obtain the numbers needed for detection by the specific rapid methods. Apart from multiplication also concentration of pathogens in a small volume free of interfering components is needed to facilitate the technical performance of the rapid methods to follow. Phage ligands attached to magnetic beads could be used as a tool to concentrate bacteria out of different food matrices, a technique named Capture. By this way analysis time could be shortened and detection limit lowered.


September 1, 2005 - September 1, 2008


Lab work
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