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Development of a rapid PCR approach to the screening of foodstuffs for the presence of Campylobacter jejuni. - FS1214

Campylobacter jejuni is emerging as one of the most important food poisoning organisms, and hence, the project aims to produce a simple, rapid, PCR based screening asay for the detection of C. jejuni in a variety of foodstuffs. The complex composition and wide variety of food matrices has hindered the development of simple PCR based assays for food pathogens and hence, the project will concentrate primarily on overcoming the problems associated with direct PCR from complex food matrices. Primers will be designed with unique specificity for C. jejuni and we will aim to produce an assay that would be suitable for routine analytical application in a food laboratory with no particular background in molecular biology.
1. To identify species specific DNA sequences for C. jejuni from nucleic acid sequence databases and literature. 2. To design suitable PCR primers and check on specificity of amplification for target pathogen. 3. To study the minimum necessary processing of a variety of relevant food samples, eg. poultry, meats and offal, to allow specific, sensitive PCR detection of the organism at very low levels. 4. To determine the necessary conditions for direct lysis of Campylobacter jejuni as an initial step in PCR. 5. To optimise the PCR conditions and assay format. 6. To evaluate the assay against a variety of spiked and routine food samples. 7. To validate against accepted cultural assay procedures designed to detect Campylobacter jejuni. The LGC has an active microbiology group which is NAMAS accredited and has extensive experience of classical cultural procedures.
Time-Scale and Cost
From: 1994

To: 1995

Cost: £69,433
Contractor / Funded Organisations