Food Safety Magazine

Solutions On Demand | August/September 2013

Be Sure About Pathogen Results

By Thermo

Be Sure About Pathogen Results

Several years ago, a company acquisition suddenly gave our microbiology group access to a real-time PCR instrument, high quality molecular reagents and enzymes and a team of scientists experienced in PCR assay development. Combining our long legacy in culture media development with access to other products and consumables from inside the organization gave us the opportunity to offer customers a complete PCR test workflow. However, we didn’t want to rush to market with ‘just another’ PCR system for pathogen detection. With greater numbers of PCR detection systems on the market, we had to ask ourselves, “What would make a company choose ours over others?”

Before going to market, we spent a great deal of effort working with customers to build our knowledge and to ensure that we specified and designed the right product. Over the years, we’ve seen our customers strive to meet increasing consumer and legislative demands while managing costs. But we also learned that, these days, we need to offer more than just a test that delivers proven sensitivity and specificity. Our customers also need to streamline test workflows and reduce time to results.  Therefore, we focused on delivering speed, ease of use, reliability and value. We could have commercialized a product range sooner, but that would have meant compromising some of the product attributes we knew were important to incorporate.

The Thermo Scientific™ SureTect™ Real-Time PCR System launched this year and has received positive user reviews. The simple workflow and flexibility for sample throughput have been particularly well received. Alliant Food Safety Labs was one of the first U.S. sites to install the SureTect system and Lab Manager Jeff Krawazak commented, “We’ve been impressed by the quick and easy sample preparation steps and the ability to process any combination of assays together. Implementation and staff training have been very quick and straightforward.”

Customers can be assured of high quality performance of the SureTect assays, even among challenging sample matrices. We’ve recently
been granted Performance Tested Methodsm status by the AOAC Research Institute for a wide range of food and associated food matrices for SureTect Salmonella species Assay and for the SureTect Listeria Assays. Studies to attain AFNOR certification through AF validation according to ISO 16140 (the ISO standard method for method comparison), and to extend the range of matrices with AOAC Performance Tested Method status, are underway and due to be completed later this year.

Assays for Salmonella species, Listeria species and Listeria monocytogenes are available now. An assay for Escherichia coli O157:H7 will be released later this year, with further tests for other key pathogens in development.

To learn more about the SureTect PCR solutions, please visit www.thermoscientific.com/foodsafetyinsider.