Major achievements in SEABAC

Seafood: Enhanced assessment of bacterial associated contamination

Major achievements in 2006

A TaqMan assay for the enumeration of total and enterotoxigenic V. parahaemolyticus has been developed and optimised. The methodology has been shown to be specific in testing using laboratory grown cultures derived from an extensive collection of Vibrio spp and non-vibrio in a SEABAC generated reference bank of isolates. The efficacy of the assay is being further evaluated in spiked seawater samples. Further work will now focus upon the identification of suitable extraction procedures for the complex seafood matrix. Novel procedures for a direct plating hybridization method targeting the toxR gene are being evaluated using characterised strains from the reference bank, once completed these methods will be used to assess the fate of vibrios during depuration. Both real time PCR and hybridisation approaches have been formally adopted as new work items under ISO/CEN and will be progressed by the expert working group CEN/WG6/TAG3. SEABAC consortium members have been invited to form the expert working group to progress standardisation of these methods. Pulse field gel electrophoresis methods for vibrios have been standardised and validated within the project and have been used to produce a fingerprints to determine clonal relationships with significant clinical strains. The results indicate the emergence and spread of pandemic clones throughout Europe.

Projectleader SEABAC

Dr. Rachel Rangdale

CEFAS, United Kingdom