Application of an Environmental Phage-Based Assay (Sample6 Detect HT/L) for the Detection of Listeria spp. in Ice Cream

J AOAC Int. 2019 Jul 1;102(4):1132-1137. doi: 10.5740/jaoacint.18-0253. Epub 2019 Jan 28.


Background: Dairy products are common sources of Listeria outbreaks, and early detection of the pathogen is critical to prevent outbreaks of illnesses and financial losses for dairy producers. Objective: This study aimed to evaluate Sample6 Detect HT/L for effective detection of Listeria monocytogenes and L. innocua in ice cream. Methods: Performance of the Sample6 DETECT HT/L was compared with U.S. Food and Drug Administration (FDA) Bacteriological Analytical Manual (BAM) Chapter 10 method for detection of Listeria spp. in ice cream using an unpaired study design. Results: R2-enriched samples tested with Sample6 Detect HT/L performed as well as the reference method at all time points tested from 15 to 24 h. R2 is a proprietary blend for use with the test kit that helps with early detection. All the dPODC values (Sample6 Detect HT/L presumptive and confirmed results) equaled zero, indicating 100% concordance between the methods. Both Sample6 Detect HT/L and FDA BAM results showed low dPODC values, with confidence intervals indicating no significant differences between Sample6 Detect HT/L and reference method results. Conclusions: Sample6 Detect HT/L is suitable to detect Listeria spp. in ice cream, even with a 12 h enrichment. Sample6 Detect HT/L demonstrated equivalent detection of L. monocytogenes and L. innocua from R2-enriched samples as expected with 15 and 18 h enrichment when compared with the 24 h FDA BAM method for L. monocytogenes. Highlights: These results indicate that Sample6 Detect HT/L, primarily developed for environmental samples, can be used to detect Listeria spp. in ice cream with less incubation time, resulting in faster detection.

MeSH terms

  • Bacteriophage Typing / methods
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Microbiology / methods
  • Ice Cream / microbiology*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / isolation & purification*