Recent developments in the use of viability dyes and quantitative PCR in the food microbiology field

Authors

  • P. Elizaquível,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Ecology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • R. Aznar,

    1. Department of Microbiology and Ecology, University of Valencia, Valencia, Spain
    2. Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA), Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Valencia, Spain
    Search for more papers by this author
  • G. Sánchez

    Corresponding author
    1. Institute of Agrochemistry and Food Technology (IATA), Spanish Council for Scientific Research (CSIC), Valencia, Spain
    • Correspondence

      Gloria Sánchez, Departamento de Biotecnología, Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (IATA-CSIC), Avda. Agustín Escardino, 7. Paterna, Valencia, Spain. E-mail: gloriasanchez@iata.csic.es

    Search for more papers by this author

Summary

The increase in foodborne outbreaks highlights the need for rapid, sensitive and specific methods for food safety monitoring, enabling specific detection and quantification of viable foodborne pathogens. Real-time PCR (qPCR) combined with the use of viability dyes, recently introduced, fulfils all these requirements. The strategy relies on the use of DNA-binding molecules such as propidium monoazide (PMA) or ethidium monoazide (EMA) as sample pretreatment previous to the qPCR. These molecules permeate only membrane-compromised cells and have successfully been applied for different types of foodborne pathogens, including bacteria and viruses. Moreover, those dyes have been explored to monitor different food manufacturing processes as an alternative to classical cultural methods. In this review, state-of-the-art information regarding viability PCR (v-PCR) is compiled.

Ancillary