Danièle Sohier (PhD), is the Global Scientific Affairs Senior Manager for Microbiology at Thermo Fisher, and President Elect of AOAC International for 2023-2024.

Danièle coordinates collaboration with governing bodies, research organizations, laboratory and food safety managers. She is honored to support global food safety and public health, and therefore she serve in multiple activities and working groups within AOAC, ISO and MicroVal.

Danièle Sohier

Thanks to its speed and accuracy, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) testing is changing the face of Salmonella screening. Yet despite its well-documented benefits, many laboratories have been put off by the perception that PCR is expensive to adopt and complex to conduct.

We are here to bust that myth. Because tools like the Thermo Scientific™ SureTect™ PCR System, run on the Applied Biosystems™ QuantStudio 5 Food Safety System, are not only fast and reliable, but they are also easy to learn, easy to use, and flexible enough to provide maximum value for money.

Productivity benefits of PCR

It is impossible to overstate the importance of testing to ensure that food is free-from Salmonella. Ingestion of the organism can lead to salmonellosis food-poisoning, longer-term complications and in some cases, even death. 

Outbreaks not only threaten public health, with the most vulnerable being the most at risk of severe disease, but they also cast a long shadow over business reputations and commercial success.

Businesses understand their ethical and regulatory responsibilities, but also have a duty to maximize profitability. But when screening for food-borne pathogens, long turnaround times eat into precious shelf lives and, consequently, the bottom line.

In recent years, PCR testing has emerged as a powerful solution, by significantly shortening time to result without compromising on safety. The SureTect Salmonella species PCR Assay method, for example, delivers actionable results four to five days faster than culture-based reference methods with high levels of accuracy. 

However, the misconception that the technique is expensive and complicated can hold adoption back.

Easy-to-learn, easy-to-use

The simplified workflow of the SureTect PCR System can help to drive up productivity in a number of ways. 

SureTect PCR System
SureTect PCR System

First, the simple workflow reduces the time needed for initial training. In fact, during the interlaboratory study carried out as part of the AOAC-OMA validation process for the SureTect Salmonella species PCR Assay method, technicians were trained remotely and found they were easily able to run the method with minimal support. Both AOAC and ISO 16140-2 validation studies confirmed the reliability and robustness of the method in all hands. ISO 16140-2:2016 certification was run by AFNOR and MicroVal Validation bodies.

At the same time, timesaving features built into the entire workflow, from enrichment to report, slashed the amount of day-to-day hands-on time required. Automated “set it and forget it” cell lysis, universal PCR preparation protocols and cycling parameters, and ready-to-use, pre-dispensed lysis reagents and lyophilized PCR pellets, for example, all make the SureTect PCR Assay method an easy-to-use productivity boosting powerhouse. 

What’s more, the system’s companion software, Thermo Scientific™ RapidFinder™ Analysis, automates workflow set-up and result interpretation for ultimate simplicity.

Open system for maximum value

All our SureTect PCR Assays run on the same platform, the QuantStudio 5 Food Safety PCR system, which can flex to the individual needs of each laboratory.

The QuantStudio 5 can accommodate any combination of SureTect PCR tests and can also be used to run other tests for other targets available from Thermo Fisher such as those for GMO or food species identification. The system can be used for qualitative, quantitative, or semi-quantitative results, and it can even run in-house PCR assays.

What’s more, Thermo Fisher are continually investing in expanding the utility of its existing platforms, helping laboratories to avoid purchasing new equipment every time their needs evolve. 

In short, the SureTect PCR System can provide fast, accurate results with high throughput, low upfront effort, and costs. Daniele Sohier explains why PCR-based Salmonella screening makes the best economic sense.

Salmonella testing methods

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