A total of 50 raw milk samples from Gyeongnam Province of Korea were examined for the incidence of Listeria monocytogenes between July 1998 and August 1998. L. monocytogenes isolated by biochemical test was confirmed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) with two sets of primers designed from the invasion-associated protein (iap) gene. After standard PCR with external primers, the amplified DNA was confirmed by a second round of PCR with internal primers (nested PCR). Both the external and internal primers generated 468-bp and 287-bp products, respectively. Only one (G9 strain) of the three suspect samples that tested positive in biochemical tests for L. monocytogenes from 50 raw milk samples was also PCR positive. Following this procedure, PCR-positive G9 strain was confirmed by Southern blot using the 287-bp internal iap probe again. The detection limit of G9 strain by standard PCR assay was as few as 102 cells, equivalent to approximately 1 pg of L. monocytogenes DNA. These PCR assays may be useful for novel detection as well as rapid confirmation for L. monocytogenes from food samples and the field.

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Author notes

Note: Kwang-Soo Ha and Seon-Ja Park contributed equally to this work.