ELIME assay vs Real-Time PCR and conventional culture method for an effective detection of Salmonella in fresh leafy green vegetables

L. Fabiani, E. Pucci, E. Delibato, G. Volpe, S. Piermarini, D. De Medici, F. Capuano, G. Palleschi

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review


The detection of Salmonella according to EC regulation is still primarily based on traditional microbiological culture methods that may take several days to be completed. The purpose of this work is to demonstrate the applicability of an Enzyme-Linked-Immuno-Magnetic-Electrochemical (ELIME) assay, recently developed by our research group for the detection of salmonella in irrigation water, in fresh (raw and ready-to-eat) leafy green vegetables by comparison with Real-Time PCR (RTi-PCR) and ISO culture methods. Since vegetables represent a more complex matrix than irrigation water, preliminary experiments were carried out on two leafy green vegetables that resulted negative for salmonella by the ISO method. 25 g of these samples were experimentally inoculated with 1–10 CFU of S. Napoli or S. Thompson and pre-enriched for 20 h in two different broths. At this time aliquots were taken, concentrated at different levels by centrifugation, and analyzed by ELIME and RTi-PCR. Once selected the best culture medium for salmonella growth, and the optimal concentration factor suitable to reduce the sample matrix effect, enhancing the out-put signal, several raw and ready-to-eat leafy green vegetables were artificially inoculated and pre-enriched. Aliquots were then taken at different incubation times and analyzed with both techniques. Results obtained showed that 20 and 8 h of pre-enrichment were required to allow the target salmonella (1–10 CFU/25 g) to multiply until reaching a detectable concentration by ELIME and RTi-PCR assays, respectively. A confirmation with the ISO culture method was carried out. Based on the available literature, this is the first report of the application of an ELISA based method for the detection of Salmonella in vegetables.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)321-327
Number of pages7
Publication statusPublished - May 1 2017


  • ELIME assay
  • Fresh leafy green vegetables
  • RTi-PCR
  • Salmonella

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Chemistry(all)


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