Brehm-Stecher, Byron

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Advances in Foodborne Pathogen Analysis

2020-11-10 , Bhunia, Arun , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Bisha, Bledar , Gehring, Andrew , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Food Science and Human Nutrition

As the world population has grown, new demands on the production of foods have been met by increased efficiencies in production, from planting and harvesting to processing, packaging and distribution to retail locations. These efficiencies enable rapid intranational and global dissemination of foods, providing longer “face time” for products on retail shelves and allowing consumers to make healthy dietary choices year-round. However, our food production capabilities have outpaced the capacity of traditional detection methods to ensure our foods are safe. Traditional methods for culture-based detection and characterization of microorganisms are time-, labor- and, in some instances, space- and infrastructure-intensive, and are therefore not compatible with current (or future) production and processing realities. New and versatile detection methods requiring fewer overall resources (time, labor, space, equipment, cost, etc.) are needed to transform the throughput and safety dimensions of the food industry. Access to new, user-friendly, and point-of-care testing technologies may help expand the use and ease of testing, allowing stakeholders to leverage the data obtained to reduce their operating risk and health risks to the public. The papers in this Special Issue on “Advances in Foodborne Pathogen Analysis” address critical issues in rapid pathogen analysis, including preanalytical sample preparation, portable and field-capable test methods, the prevalence of antibiotic resistance in zoonotic pathogens and non-bacterial pathogens, such as viruses and protozoa.

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Antilisterial effects of gravinol-s grape seed extract at low levels in aqueous media and its potential application as a produce wash.

2010-02-01 , Bisha, Bledar , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Weinsetel, Natalia , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Mendonca, Aubrey , Food Science and Human Nutrition

Grape seed extract (GSE) is a rich source of proanthocyanidins, a class of natural antioxidants reported to have wide-ranging bioactivity as anti-inflammatory, anticarcinogenic, and antimicrobial agents. The ability of GSE to rapidly inactivate Listeria monocytogenes in vitro and the generally recognized as safe status of GSE make this extract an attractive candidate for control of Listeria in or on foods. Previously, GSE has been used at relatively high concentrations (1%) in complex food matrices and in combination with other antimicrobials. We sought to characterize the antilisterial effects of a commercial GSE preparation (Gravinol-S) alone at much lower concentrations (0.00015 to 0.125%) in aqueous solution and to test its possible use as an antimicrobial wash for fresh produce surfaces. Based on broth microdilution tests, the MICs of GSE against L. monocytogenes Scott A and Listeria innocua ATCC 33090 were as low as 50 and 78 mg ml21, respectively. GSE was evaluated in 0.85% saline against live cells of L. innocua via flow cytometry, using propidium iodide as a probe for membrane integrity. At sub-MICs and after only 2 min of exposure, treatment with GSE caused rapid permeabilization and clumping of L. innocua, results that we confirmed for L. monocytogenes using fluorescence microscopy and Live/Dead staining. At higher concentrations (0.125%), GSE reduced viable cell counts for L. monocytogenes by approximately 2 log units within 2 min on tomato surfaces. These results suggest the potential for GSE as a natural control of Listeria spp. on low-complexity foods such as tomatoes.

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Flow cytometry for rapid detection of Salmonella spp. in seed sprouts

2014-12-31 , Bisha, Bledar , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Food Science and Human Nutrition

Seed sprouts (alfalfa, mung bean, radish, etc.) have been implicated in several recent national and international outbreaks of salmonellosis. Conditions used for sprouting are also conducive to the growth of Salmonella. As a result, this pathogen can quickly grow to very high cell densities during sprouting without any detectable organoleptic impact. Seed sprouts typically also support heavy growth (~108 CFU g−1) of a heterogeneous microbiota consisting of various bacterial, yeast, and mold species, often dominated by non-pathogenic members of the family Enterobacteriaceae. This heavy background may present challenges to the detection of Salmonella, especially if this pathogen is present in relatively low numbers. We combined DNA-based fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) with flow cytometry (FCM) for the rapid molecular detection of Salmonella enterica ser. Typhimurium in artificially contaminated alfalfa and other seed sprouts. Components of the assay included a set of cooperatively binding probes, a chemical blocking treatment intended to reduce non-specific background, and sample concentration via tangential flow filtration (TFF). We were able to detect S. Typhimurium in sprout wash at levels as low as 103 CFU ml−1 sprout wash (104 CFU g−1 sprouts) against high microbial backgrounds (~108 CFU g−1 sprouts). Hybridization times were typically 30 min, with additional washing, but we ultimately found that S. Typhimurium could be readily detected using hybridization times as short as 2 min, without a wash step. These results clearly demonstrate the potential of combined DNA-FISH and FCM for rapid detection of Salmonella in this challenging food matrix and provide industry with a useful tool for compliance with sprout production standards proposed in the Food Safety Modernization Act (FSMA).

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Simple Adhesive-Tape-Based Sampling of Tomato Surfaces Combined with Rapid Fluorescence In Situ Hybridization for Salmonella Detection

2009-03-01 , Bisha, Bledar , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Food Science and Human Nutrition

A simple adhesive-tape-based method for sampling of tomato surfaces was combined with fluorescence in situ hybridization for rapid culture-independent detection of Salmonella strains. Tapes could also be placed face-down on selective agar for on-tape enrichment of captured Salmonella cells. Overlay of cell-charged tapes with small volumes of liquid enrichment media enabled subsequent detection of tape-captured Salmonella via flow cytometry.

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Combination of Adhesive-tape-based Sampling and Fluorescence in situ Hybridization for Rapid Detection of Salmonella on Fresh Produce

2010-10-18 , Bisha, Bledar , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Brehm-Stecher, Byron , Food Science and Human Nutrition

This protocol describes a simple approach for adhesive-tape-based sampling of tomato and other fresh produce surfaces, followed by on-tape fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for rapid culture-independent detection of Salmonella spp. Cell-charged tapes can also be placed facedown on selective agar for solid-phase enrichment prior to detection. Alternatively, low-volume liquid enrichments (liquid surface miniculture) can be performed on the surface of the tape in non-selective broth, followed by FISH and analysis via flow cytometry. To begin, sterile adhesive tape is brought into contact with fresh produce, gentle pressure is applied, and the tape is removed, physically extracting microbes present on these surfaces. Tapes are mounted sticky-side up onto glass microscope slides and the sampled cells are fixed with 10% formalin (30 min) and dehydrated using a graded ethanol series (50, 80, and 95%; 3 min each concentration). Next, cell-charged tapes are spotted with buffer containing a Salmonella-targeted DNA probe cocktail and hybridized for 15 - 30 min at 55°C, followed by a brief rinse in a washing buffer to remove unbound probe. Adherent, FISH-labeled cells are then counterstained with the DNA dye 4',6-diamidino-2-phenylindole (DAPI) and results are viewed using fluorescence microscopy. For solid-phase enrichment, cell-charged tapes are placed face-down on a suitable selective agar surface and incubated to allow in situ growth of Salmonella microcolonies, followed by FISH and microscopy as described above. For liquid surface miniculture, cell-charged tapes are placed sticky side up and a silicone perfusion chamber is applied so that the tape and microscope slide form the bottom of a water-tight chamber into which a small volume (≤ 500 μL) of Trypticase Soy Broth (TSB) is introduced. The inlet ports are sealed and the chambers are incubated at 35 - 37°C, allowing growth-based amplification of tape-extracted microbes. Following incubation, inlet ports are unsealed, cells are detached and mixed with vigorous back and forth pipetting, harvested via centrifugation and fixed in 10% neutral buffered formalin. Finally, samples are hybridized and examined via flow cytometry to reveal the presence of Salmonella spp. As described here, our "tape-FISH" approach can provide simple and rapid sampling and detection of Salmonella on tomato surfaces. We have also used this approach for sampling other types of fresh produce, including spinach and jalapeño peppers.