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Applied Markets News: Qiagen, 3M Tests AOAC Certified; Life Tech's STEC Testing Workflow

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Qiagen said this week that its Mericon Salmonella spp. kit for use on the QIASymphony RGQ platform has received performance-tested method certification from the AOAC Research Institute.

The Mericon kit provides all necessary reagents for detecting Salmonella subspecies and runs on the QIASymphony RGQ, a modular system featuring Qiagen's Rotor-Gene Q real-time PCR instrument.

The AOAC Research Institute validated the Mericon kit on both the QIAsymphony RGQ and manually for low- and high-throughput testing of eight different food sample types, Qiagen said.


3M Food Safety said this week that its 3M Molecular Detection Assay for E. coli O157 (including H7) has received performance-tested method certification from the AOAC Research Institute.

In order to achieve certification, artificially contaminated samples were enriched and evaluated by the 3M Molecular Detection System as compared to the appropriate US Food and Drug Administration or United States Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service reference method. Sample groups evaluated included raw ground beef, bagged spinach, and sprouts, and no statistically significant differences were found in sample results between the 3M assay and reference methods.

Introduced in December 2011, 3M's detection system combines isothermal DNA amplification and bioluminescence detection to detect pathogens in enriched food, feed, and environmental samples.


Life Technologies said this week that it has developed a complete rapid molecular testing workflow for multiple strains of pathogenic Shiga toxin-producing Escherichia coli, or STEC, a bacteria found in undercooked beef.

Life Tech said that the standard pathogen-isolation method of testing outlined in the USDA Microbiology Laboratory Guidebook is accurate but may take as long as six days to perform, and requires multiple reagents and significant technician training.

The company said that it has been collaborating with the USDA's Agricultural Research Service to validate assay designs against an extensive panel of both pathogenic and non-pathogenic STECs of various O- group and origin, resulting in highly specific, single-target, real-time PCR assays that can be multiplexed for high-throughput screening.

According to Life Tech, the new workflow can detect as little as one to five colony-forming units of pathogenic STEC in a sample in as little as 10 hours from a 375-gram ground beef or beef trim sample.

The Scan

Pill Works Against Omicron in Lab

Pfizer's antiviral pill to treat SARS-CoV-2 appears to work against the Omicron variant, the Wall Street Journal reports.

Nature Papers Find Genetic Risk Factor for Smell, Taste Loss in COVID-19; Analyze TB Granulomas

In Nature this week: genome-wide association study find locus linked to the risk COVID-19 patients losing their sense of taste or smell, and more.

And a Fourth?

A fourth dose of the Pfizer-BioNTech SARS-CoV-2 vaccine in an Israeli study increased antibody levels but did not prevent Omicron variant infections, according to the Financial Times.

For Better Science Software

A virtual institute funded by former Google CEO Eric Schmidt's philanthropy aims to lure software engineers to academia, Science reports.