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Detection and prevalence of pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica in refrigerated and frozen dairy products by duplex PCR and dot hybridization targeting the virF and ail genes

Ye, Y.W., Ling, N., Han, Y.J., Wu, Q.P.
Journal of dairy science 2014 v.97 no.11 pp. 6785-6791
Yersinia enterocolitica, biotypes, cold tolerance, detection limit, frozen dairy products, genes, hybridization, monitoring, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, risk assessment, screening, serotypes, virulence, virulent strains, yersiniosis, China
Pathogenic Yersinia enterocolitica is involved in yersiniosis through expression of chromosome-borne or plasmid-borne virulence factors. Yersinia enterocolitica is a cold-tolerant pathogen frequently isolated from refrigerated or frozen foods. However, little attention has been focused on the prevalence of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica in refrigerated or frozen dairy samples in China. In this study, we developed a new duplex PCR targeting the plasmid-borne virF gene and chromosome-borne ail gene for detection of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica isolates. We established a detection limit for the duplex PCR of 6.5×102cfu/mL in artificially contaminated dairy samples. In addition, the duplex PCR could detect directly 4.5 to 5.7 cfu of Y. enterocolitica in 5mL of brain heart infusion broth after 6 h of enrichment at 28°C. A newly developed dot hybridization assay further confirmed specificity of the duplex PCR for detection of virulent Y. enterocolitica. Furthermore, 13 Y. enterocolitica and 5 pathogenic strains, from 88 commercial frozen or refrigerated dairy products, were detected successfully by the China National Standard method (GB/T4789.8-2008) and the duplex PCR, respectively. Finally, biotypes and serotypes of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica strains were further characterized. The duplex PCR developed here is reliable for large-scale screening, routine monitoring, and risk assessment of pathogenic Y. enterocolitica in refrigerated or frozen dairy products.