Gunjot Rana*, Brad Mire*, Douglas Waltman#, Michaela R. Hoffmeyer*
*Luminex Corporation, Austin, Texas
# Georgia Poultry Laboratory Network, Oakwood, Georgia
Salmonella infections are among the leading bacterial cause of illness in the United States, with poultry being a major global reservoir of Salmonella. Because of health concerns and the cost burden associated with Salmonella infections, regulations require reporting of Salmonella serotypes for detected cases. Traditionally, Salmonella serotyping has been done manually by tube agglutination. This process is time consuming, subjective and expensive. We propose a Center for Disease Control (CDC) and National Veterinary Services Laboratories (NVSL) validated, rapid molecular method capable of completely serotyping 95% of the isolates received by an average laboratory in 3.5 hours while providing partial results for most other serovars. The advantages of using a molecular approach include ability to serotype rough and problematic isolates, no phase inversions, improved reliability, high throughput, increased time efficiency, decreased cost, all while yielding results that mirror traditional serotyping methods. In a blind study, this assay was tested on 139 samples obtained from the Georgia Poultry Lab Network and results were compared to classical agglutination. Samples with discrepant results were tested by NVSL. These results demonstrate excellent correlation between serotyping via classical agglutination and the xMAP® Salmonella Serotyping Assay proving that molecular serotyping is an accurate and rapid alternative to traditional serotyping. Adoption of this method will lead to decreased serotyping cost for egg and poultry producers and increased ability to control outbreaks.
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