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Two-step large-volume magnetic separation combined with PCR assay for sensitive detection of Listeria monocytogenes in pasteurized milk

Luo, Dan, Huang, Xiaolin, Mao, Yan, Chen, Chaochao, Li, Fulai, Xu, Hengyi, Xiong, Yonghua
Journal of dairy science 2017 v.100 no.10 pp. 7883-7890
Listeria monocytogenes, antigen-antibody reactions, bacteria, bioactive properties, biotin, food pathogens, immunomagnetic separation, magnetism, milk, monoclonal antibodies, pasteurized milk, polymerase chain reaction, rapid methods, screening, streptavidin
Immunomagnetic separation (IMS) is an effective tool for the preconcentration and purification of food-borne pathogens from complex food samples because of its high capture efficiency (CE). In conventional IMS, antibodies are usually conjugated on the surface of magnetic beads (MB); the random orientation and conformation changes of antibodies on the MB surface can decrease their bioactivity. Moreover, the Brownian motion of immobilized antibodies is weakened, thereby rendering their binding efficiency with bacteria lower than that of free antibodies. Thus, abundant antibodies are commonly required to ensure high CE for IMS, particularly for large volumes. In this study, a 2-step large-volume magnetic separation (10 mL) was proposed to preconcentrate Listeria monocytogenes from pasteurized milk. First, the biotinylated anti-L. monocytogenes monoclonal antibodies (mAb) were bound with L. monocytogenes in 10 mL of diluted milk through an antigen-antibody interaction, and then streptavidin-labeled MB were used to capture biotin-mAb coated with L. monocytogenes by biotin and streptavidin interaction. Under optimal conditions, the CE of 2-step magnetic separation was >90% with L. monocytogenes concentrations ranging from 8 × 100 to 8 × 104 cfu/mL, whereas the amount of biotin-mAb was 14 fold lower than that of the conventional IMS method. Coupled with a PCR assay, the detection limit of the proposed method was 8 × 100 cfu/mL in pure culture and 8 × 101 cfu/mL in pasteurized milk without any pre-enrichment process. Moreover, the overall detection time, including sample preparation, large-volume magnetic separation, and PCR, took less than 7 h. In summary, the developed 2-step large-volume IMS combined with PCR was highly sensitive and low cost and, thus, has considerable potential for the rapid screening of food-borne pathogenic bacteria.