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Detection of Salmonella enteritidis in eggs by the polymerase chain reaction
  1. M. J. Woodward, PhD, BSc1 and
  2. S. E. S. Kirwan1
  1. 1 Bacteriology Department, Central Veterinary Laboratory, Addlestone, Surrey KT15 3NB


A polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for the specific detection of the gene sequence, sefA, encoded by all isolates of Salmonella enteritidis, was developed. The PCR could detect as few as four S enteritidis washed bacterial cells but egg contents inhibited the PCR. Eggs spiked with 50 S enteritidis bacterial cells were homogenised, inoculated into buffered peptone water and grown at 37°C for 16 hours, when the PCR was successful. A positive internal control was developed to differentiate between true and false negative PCR results for the detection of S enteritidis. In a limited trial of the egg handling procedures and the PCR, one of 250 chickens' eggs from retail outlets was found to be contaminated with S enteritidis.

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