Escherichia coli 0157 specific antibody, coated on magnetic beads, was used to concentrate and remove the E. coli 0157:H7 from mixed cultures and meat samples. The problem of nontarget organism carryover was addressed by adding Protamine to the culture-bead sample, washing the beads three times in saline, and changing the test tubes with each wash. These modifications reduced the nontarget colony counts obtained from uninoculated meat samples. This procedure enabled consistent recovery of E. coli 0157:H7 from inoculated meat samples. The percentage of E. coli 0157:H7 cells captured, compared to the total number of cells captured, ranged from 48 to 100%. Two strains of E. coli 0157, H7 and :non-H7, appeared to compete with one another and thus reduce or prevent isolation.

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