Objective—To use real-time polymerase chain reaction
(PCR) technology to develop a highly sensitive
and specific diagnostic assay for the detection of
Salmonella spp in fecal specimens.
Sample Population—299 fecal specimens from cattle,
horses, and dogs.
Procedure—Enrichment of fecal specimens was followed
by genomic DNA extraction by use of commercially
available isolation kits. Real-time PCR assay
was performed to target a Salmonella spp-specific
DNA segment. Results of real-time PCR assay were
compared with bacterial culture results to determine
relative sensitivity and specificity.
Results—Use of the spaQ primer-probe set resulted
in a relative sensitivity of 100% and a specificity of
98.2%, compared with bacterial culture results when
tested on 299 clinical fecal specimens.
Conclusion and Clinical Relevance—A rapid, sensitive,
and specific assay for the detection of
Salmonella spp from enriched clinical fecal specimens
was developed. This technique would be highly valuable
in clinical settings to help avoid or mitigate the
complications arising from an outbreak of salmonellosis
in a herd or among patients of a veterinary hospital.
(Am J Vet Res 2002;63:1265–1268)