A method for direct detection of Salmonella spp. in water was developed by using a commercially available DNA probe. Particulate DNA was extracted from 500- to 1,500-ml water samples collected from New York Harbor and Chesapeake Bay and used as a substrate for a salmonella-specific DNA probe in dot blot assays. The method detected salmonellae in water samples from 12 of 16 sites, including 6 sites where salmonellae could not be cultured. The specificity of the probe was evaluated, and cross-hybridization, although negligible, was used to set detection limits for the assay. Salmonella DNA bound the probe quantitatively, and from these results Salmonella DNA in the total particulate DNA in environmental samples could be estimated. The data obtained in this study indicate that Salmonella spp. often are not detected in water samples by culture methods, even when they are present in significant numbers.
All Science Journal Classification (ASJC) codes
- Food Science
- Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology