Application of a Commercial Salmonella Real-Time PCR Assay for the Detection and Quantitation of Salmonella enterica in Poultry Ceca

W. Evan Chaney, April K. Englishbey, Tyler P. Stephens, Savannah F. Applegate, Marcos X. Sanchez-Plata

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


ABSTRACT: Foodborne salmonellosis is commonly associated with poultry and poultry products, necessitating continued development of pre- and postharvest food safety interventions and risk management strategies. Evaluation of technologies and strategies is limited by availability of cost-effective, rapid laboratory methods. The objective of this study was to evaluate a commercial qualitative PCR assay and its novel quantitative application to detect and enumerate Salmonella in poultry ceca as an analytical matrix. Ceca were collected at harvest, the contents were homogenized, and paired samples were evaluated with buffered peptone water (BPW) and BAX MP + Supplement (MPS) preenrichment broths followed by PCR screening with a BAX System Q7 PCR and by culture isolation. Additional ceca were inoculated with Salmonella to develop a standard curve for the BAX System SalQuant quantitative PCR application (QA), and estimates were obtained by the QA and most-probable-number (MPN) methods. For preenrichment media, PCR outcomes were equivalent to those of culture isolation for detecting Salmonella in ceca with 95.65 and 87.88% sensitivity and 82.00 and 100.00% specificity (P = 0.074) for BPW and MPS, respectively. However, at the sample level, BPW performed significantly worse (47.92%) than did MPS (68.75%) for overall isolation of Salmonella (P < 0.0001). After standard curve development, the mean QA estimates obtained for the inoculated samples were 1.14 (95% confidence interval [CI]: 0.62 to 1.66), 1.79 (1.50 to 2.08), 2.91 (2.65 to 3.17), and 3.76 (3.26 to 4.25) log CFU/mL for each targeted inoculation of 1.0, 2.0, 3.0, and 4.0 log CFU/mL, respectively, and were within or comparable to the 95% CI values of paired MPN estimates. These data support the use of MPS for the detection and isolation of Salmonella enterica from poultry ceca when screening with PCR and indicate that QA may be useful as an alternative tool to estimate Salmonella loads in poultry ceca, which may support preharvest food safety interventions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)527-533
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of food protection
Issue number3
StatePublished - Mar 1 2022


  • Ceca
  • Most probable number
  • Poultry
  • Quantitation
  • Salmonella


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