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Powerful Salmonella Detection Tools Developed

A funded research project at the US Department of Agriculture’s-Agriculture Research Service Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit, Athens, Ga., in which the researchers developed powerful tools for detecting Salmonella, has been completed, announced USPOULTRY and the USPOULTRY Foundation.

Specifically, the project is titled Project #F043: Rapid Molecular Pathotyping of Major Salmonella enterica Serotypes Based on Single-Nucleotide Polymorphisms (SNPs) in the Adenylate Cyclase (cyaA) Gene (Dr. Michael J. Rothrock, Jr. and Dr. Jean Guard, USDA-ARS Egg Safety and Quality Research Unit, Athens, Ga.)

Detecting Salmonella in various stages of the food production system is complicated by the vast number of Salmonella serotypes and the variation of characteristics even within a serotype, according to the research summary. Simple methods are needed by the poultry industry to track isolates of Salmonella through the production system so that more effective interventions can be implemented.

The recently completed a research project by Dr. Michael Rothrock and Dr. Jean Guard resulted in the researchers developing reagents and protocols to rapidly detect and identify some of the major serotypes of Salmonella and differentiate different isolates within a serotype. Utilizing single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs) of two different genes, they could detect 89 to 100 percent of a panel of Salmonella isolates from environmental, poultry production and processing settings.

SNPs are discreet areas in a gene that vary between isolates of similar bacteria and can be used to identify those bacteria. This work demonstrates the power of using SNPs to quickly and accurately distinguish between isolates of Salmonella and can serve as a valuable tool for Salmonella control in the poultry industry.

A complete report may be obtained by going to USPOULTRY’s website,

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