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      A rapid bioluminescent enzyme immunoassay (BLEIA) for the detection of Shiga toxin types 1 and 2.

      Microbiology and immunology

      Time Factors, Animals, Cattle, Chickens, Escherichia coli Infections, diagnosis, Escherichia coli O157, chemistry, isolation & purification, Feces, microbiology, Humans, Immunoenzyme Techniques, methods, Luminescent Measurements, Meat, Milk, Sensitivity and Specificity, Shiga Toxin 1, analysis, immunology, Shiga Toxin 2

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          In recent years, Escherichia coli O157: H7 has emerged as a global public health concern. Among the more important virulence characteristics of this strain is its ability to produce one or more Shiga toxins (Stx). Traditional culture-based methods for assay of enteric toxins in foods and clinical samples are relatively slow and results can be ambiguous. In this work, we established a toxin-detection system based on bioluminescent enzyme immunoassay (BLEIA) using a simple and inexpensive device. The system could detect both Shiga toxin types 1 and 2 individually within 150 min with a detection limit for each toxin at 5 pg/ml. In our study of previously characterized Shigatoxigenic and all non-Shigatoxigenic E. coli and other bacterial species, we found all Shigatoxigenic strains to be positive and non-Shigatoxigenic E. coli and other bacterial species to be negative. This assay was also used to detect Stxs in milk and supernatant fluids from minced chicken and beef. For clinical stool samples we noted a tendency for the system to give unexpectedly high background level. Our results suggest the feasibility of using BLEIA methodology for the simple, rapid and sensitive detection of toxins from culture supernatant, various foods and clinical samples.

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