Sensitivity of an immunomagnetic-separation-based test for detecting Escherichia coli O26 in bovine feces

L. M. Hall, J. Evans, A. W. Smith, M. C. Pearce, H. I. Knight, G. Foster, J. C. Low, G. J. Gunn

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The sensitivity of a test for cattle shedding Escherichia coli serogroup O26 was estimated using several fecal pats artificially inoculated at a range of concentrations with different E. coli O26 strains. The test involves the enrichment of fecal microflora in buffered peptone water, the selective concentration of E. coli O26 using antibody-coated immunomagnetic-separation beads, the identification of E. coli colonies on Chromocult tryptone bile X-glucuronide agar, and confirmation of the serogroup with E. coli serogroup O26-specific antisera using slide agglutination. The effective dose of E. coli O26 for an 80% test sensitivity (ED80) was 1.0 x 10(4) CFU g(-1) feces (95% confidence interval, 4.7 x 10(3) to 2.4 x 10(4)). Differences in test sensitivity between different E. coli O26 strains and fecal pats were also observed. Individual estimates of ED80 for each strain and fecal pat combination ranged from 4.2 x 10(2) to 4.8 x 10(5) CFU g(-1). These results suggest that the test is useful for identifying individuals shedding a large number of E. coli O26 organisms or, if an appropriate number of individuals in a herd are sampled, for identifying affected herds. The study also provides a benchmark estimate of sensitivity that can be used to compare alternative tests for E. coli O26 and a methodological approach that can be applied to tests for other pathogenic members of the Enterobactetiaceae and other sample types.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)7260-7263
Number of pages4
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Issue number11
Publication statusPublished - Nov 2006


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