The family Enterobacteriaceae, members of which are widely distributed in the environment, includes many important human pathogens. In this study, a rapid real-time PCR method targeting rplP, coding for L16 protein, a component of the ribosome large subunit, was developed for enumerating Enterobacteriaceae strains, and its efficiency was evaluated using naturally contaminated food products. The rplP-targeted real-time PCR amplified Enterobacteriaceae species with Ct values of 14.0-22.8, whereas the Ct values for non-Enterobacteriaceae species were >30, indicating the specificity of this method for the Enterobacteriaceae. Using a calibration curve of Ct=-3.025 (log CFU/g)+37.35, which was calculated from individual plots of the cell numbers in different concentrations of 5 Enterobacteriaceae species, the rplP-targeted real-time PCR was applied to 51 food samples. A <1log difference between the real-time PCR and culture methods was obtained in a majority of the food samples (81.8%), with good correlation (r2=0.8285). This study demonstrated that the rplP-targeted real-time PCR method could detect and enumerate Enterobacteriaceae species in foods rapidly and accurately, and therefore, it can be used for the microbiological risk analysis of foods.
Keywords: Enterobacteriaceae; Hygiene indicator; Real-time PCR; rplP.
Copyright © 2017 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.