Rapid detection of Salmonella enterica with primers specific for iroB

Andreas J. Bäumler, Fred Heffron, Rolf Reissbrodt

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

98 Scopus citations


The iroB gene of Salmonella enterica is absent from the chromosome of the related organism Escherichia coli. We determined the distribution of this gene among 150 bacterial isolates, representing 51 serotypes of different Salmonella species and subspecies and 8 other bacterial species which are frequent contaminants during routine enrichment procedures by Southern hybridization. An iroB-specific DNA probe detected homologous sequences in all strains of S. enterica, including serotypes of S. enterica subsp. enterica (I), salamae (II), diarizonae (IIIb), and houtenae (IV). No hybridization signal was obtained with strains of Salmonella bongori or other bacterial species. In contrast, hybridization with a DNA probe specific for purD, a purine biosynthesis gene, detected homologs in all bacterial species tested. Primers specific for iroB were used to amplify this gene from 197 bacterial isolates by PCR. The iroB gene could be PCR amplified from S. enterica subsp. enterica (I), salamae (II), diarizonae (IIIb), houtenae (IV), arizonae (IIIa), and indica (VI), but not from S. bongori or other bacterial species. Thus, PCR amplification of iroB can be used to distinguish between S. enterica and other bacterial species, including S. bongori. A combination of preenrichment in buffered peptone water supplemented with ferrioxamine E and amplification of iroB by magnetic immuno-PCR allowed detection of S. enterica in albumen within 24 h. In conclusion, PCR amplification of iroB is a new sensitive and selective method which has the potential to rapidly detect S. enterica serotypes.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1224-1230
Number of pages7
JournalJournal of Clinical Microbiology
Issue number5
StatePublished - May 1997
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Microbiology (medical)


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