The standard method of immunomagnetic separation for isolating pathogenic bacteria from food and environmental matrices processes 1 ml volumes. Pathogens present at low levels (< 0.5 pathogenic bacteria/g) will not be consistently detected by this method. Here a multiple sample flow through immunomagnetic separator has been designed and tested to process large volume samples (50 to 250 ml). Preliminary results show > 97% recovery of polydisperse magnetic particles (diameter range 1 to 8 mu m) containing 29-33% w/w Fe3O4 content. Between 70 and 130 times more of the pathogenic bacteria Escherichia coli O157 is recovered from PBS compared with the standard 1 ml method. Also, the recovery of E. coli O157 from beef mince homogenates, after a 4 h incubation at 42 degrees C, is between 80 and 180 times higher than the standard 1 ml method.
- ESCHERICHIA-COLI O157