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New tool helps identify Salmonella serotypes

A new cost-effective diagnostic tool takes aim at identifying numerous serotypes of Salmonella — including the highly virulent Salmonella enterica — which is associated with human illness.

The Intergenic Sequence Ribotyping (ISR) developed by Jean Guard, veterinary medical officer with the Agricultural Research Service, can detect and identify Salmonella in the field and in consumer poultry products, according to a recent article in USDA’s AgResearch magazine.

There are other sequence, or DNA-based, methods of serotyping Salmonella but testing has shown the new ISR test is reliable across a wide range of conditions. The ISR is also less expensive and more accurate at identifying serotypes when compared with the tradition method, Kauffmann-White (KW).

“By decreasing the cost of serotyping S. enterica while maintaining reliability we may encourage routine testing and early detection of Salmonella,” Guard says. Use of the test can help poultry producers identify points in the production process — both on- and off-farm — where Salmonella infection is occurring.

Producers with in-house laboratories and trained personnel can conduct the testing onsite while smaller operations can work with a diagnostic consultant who has access to both the ISR tool and database.

The ISR technology is available to specialized laboratories, producers or other qualified users who sign a proprietary Material Transfer Agreement (MTA). Parties with an MTA agreement contribute to and have access to the proprietary ISR-based dataset where each diagnostic entry increases the size of the dataset and expands the data available for users. Producers receive their individual results through a private online account.

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