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14th July 2021  Content supplied by: Microbiologics, Inc.

Microbiologics Expands its Line of GFP Marked Microbial Controls for Food Safety

Microbiologics announced the expansion of their UV-BioTAG™ line of microbial control strains containing green fluorescent protein (GFP) markers. Designed for food microbiology testing, UV-BioTAG™ control cultures visibly fluoresce under ultraviolet (UV) light, making them easily distinguishable from naturally occurring microflora and true contamination. Microbiologics, a global leader in the preservation, production, and manipulation of biological materials, launched UV-BioTAG™ in 2016 to provide a simple yet effective tool for laboratories conducting analyses of food products.

Food manufacturers and processors are routinely testing samples to detect the presence of harmful pathogens such as Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, and Salmonella enterica before products are distributed for consumption. Laboratories use positive control cultures in their Quality Control (QC) programs to ensure their test methods, materials and procedures are consistently producing accurate results. In some cases, food samples may inadvertently become cross-contaminated with the laboratory's QC cultures during processing, leading to false-positive test results. If colonies are recovered from a food sample and they do not fluoresce under UV light, cross-contamination from UV-BioTAG control strains can be instantly ruled out as the cause.

Brad Goskowicz, Microbiologics Chief Executive Officer, commented, "Our UV-BioTAG strains allow laboratories to quickly and reliably differentiate QC cultures from contaminants. This is incredibly powerful for labs, as they have a very short window of time to identify pathogens and investigate a positive result." The United States Department of Agriculture (USDA) Food Safety and Inspection Service (FSIS) recently cited the use of UV-BioTAG reference strains in their Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook (MLG) test method 5C.01 for the Detection, Isolation, and Identification of Top Seven Shiga Toxin-Producing Escherichia coli (STEC) from Meat Products and Carcass and Environmental Sponges.

The GFP reporter for UV-BioTAG strains is integrated into the microorganism’s chromosome to provide superior stability, particularly over plasmid-based reporters which may be lost during enrichments designed to recover pathogens from food. For each strain, the GFP reporter is controlled by a strong promoter for highly visible fluorescence and they are rigorously tested to ensure authenticity, stability, and compatibility with common detection technologies. Microbiologics collaborated with the Food and Drug Administration (FDA) to choose the control strains that were developed into their UV-BioTAG product line. The list of new UV-BioTAG strains includes:
  • Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Bispebjerg
  • Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Tranoroa
  • Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Nottingham
  • Klebsiella aerogenes
  • Yersinia enterocolitica
  • Cronobacter sakazakii
  • Vibrio cholerae serovar O139
  • Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Abaetetuba

UV-BioTAG is available in two user-friendly formats. The UV-BioTAG Vial Kit includes six individual vials containing a single lyophilized microorganism pellet in each, which are rehydrated in a sterile fluid, such as saline, and then plated on culture media. The UV-BioTAG Swab Kit contains six all-in-one devices featuring a lyophilized microorganism pellet, ampoule of rehydration fluid, and a swab, which allows for direct inoculation of culture media.

Microbiologics will be showcasing UV-BioTAG at the International Association for Food Protection (IAFP) Annual Meeting in Phoenix, Arizona, July 18 - 21, 2021. Learn more at Microbiologics.com/UV-BioTAG.

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Date Published: 14th July 2021

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