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Foods 2014, 3(3), 511-526;

Biosensors for the Detection of Food Pathogens

Institute of Sciences of Food Productions, National Research Council, ISPA-CNR, Via Lecce-Monteroni, 73100 Lecce, Italy
NNL, Institute of Nanoscience-CNR, Via per Arnesano, I-73100 Lecce, Italy
Department of Mathematics and Physics "Ennio De Giorgi", University of Salento, Via per Arnesano, I-73100 Lecce, Italy
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 2 May 2014 / Revised: 18 August 2014 / Accepted: 20 August 2014 / Published: 2 September 2014
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Biosensors and Food Safety)
Full-Text   |   PDF [221 KB, uploaded 3 September 2014]


Food pathogens frequently cause foodborne diseases. There is a need to rapidly identify the source of the bacteria in order to contain their spread and epidemics. A pre-enrichment culture or a direct culture on agar plate are standard microbiological methods. In this review, we present an update on alternative molecular methods to nucleic acid-based detection for species identification. Biosensor-based methods rely on the recognition of antigen targets or receptors by antibodies, aptamers or high-affinity ligands. The captured antigens may be then directly or indirectly detected through an antibody or high-affinity and high-specificity recognition molecule. Various different detection methods are discussed, from label-free sensors and immunosensors to fluorescence-based ones. Each method shows advantages and disadvantages in terms of equipment, sensitivity, simplicity and cost-effectiveness. Finally, lab-on-a-chip (LOC) devices are introduced briefly, with the potential to be fast, sensitive and useful for on-site bacteria detection in food processing laboratories to check potential contamination by sample monitoring combined with a rapid pre-enrichment step. View Full-Text
Keywords: food pathogens; rapid identification; molecular recognition; detection methods; labelling; antibody chips; lab-on-a-chip food pathogens; rapid identification; molecular recognition; detection methods; labelling; antibody chips; lab-on-a-chip
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License (CC BY 3.0).

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Poltronieri, P.; Mezzolla, V.; Primiceri, E.; Maruccio, G. Biosensors for the Detection of Food Pathogens. Foods 2014, 3, 511-526.

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