Rapid Nucleic Acid-Based Diagnostics Methods for the Detection of Bacterial Pathogens

  • Barry Glynn


The ultimate goal in microbial testing is the ability to accurately and sensitively detect pathogens in real-time or as quickly as possible. Nucleic acid diagnostics (NAD) offer many advantages over traditional microbiological and immunological methods for the detection of infections micro-organisms. These include faster processing time as well as greater potential for intra-species identification and identification of antibiotic susceptibility and strain typing based upon unique sequences. The original techniques of PCR and gel electrophoresis are being superseded by real-time PCR while the development of integrated sample preparation and amplification devices with a simplified user interface will allow for true point-of-care disease detection and suitably tailored treatments. This chapter describes the principles of nucleic acid diagnostics including an overview of the technology’s history as well as the general properties of an ideal nucleic acid diagnostics target. Special emphasis is placed upon the detection of pathogens relevant to the food industry. While traditional culture-based methods will retain the lead position as bioanalytical test methods for food safety for the foreseeable future, rapid NAD methods will increasingly compliment or provide alternatives to these methods to meet the ever-evolving challenges in food safety. Ongoing developments in molecular detection platforms including microarrays and biosensors provide potential for new test methods that will enable multi-parameter testing and at-line monitoring for microbial contaminants.


Polymerase Chain Reaction Polymerase Chain Reaction Assay Listeria Monocytogenes Foodborne Pathogen Immunomagnetic Separation 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  • Barry Glynn
    • 1
  1. 1.The National Diagnostics CentreNational University of Ireland GalwayGalwayIreland

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