In recent years, foodborne illnesses have become the most significant public health issue in both developed and developing countries. The World Health Organization (WHO) reported that in 2010, around 1.8 million people died due to foodborne illness. Therefore, the development of a cost-effective, sensitive, and selective detection method for identifying and monitoring foodborne pathogens is necessary for improved public health. Here, we describe a simple and ultrasensitive colorimetric method for the detection of foodborne pathogens based on HRPzyme-integrated PCR using PC-based ImageJ software. We present insights into different aspects of this method such as the importance of 16S rRNA detection, the modification of traditional PCR primers with a unique functional sequence for generating a color signal, and the application of ImageJ in colorimetric image data acquisition. The performance of the proposed strategy in detecting various foodborne pathogens is comparable to that of the commercial UV-Vis spectrophotometer Tecan Infinite 200 Pro. This detection platform exhibits linearity over wide range, high sensitivity, and high selectivity. The diagnostic capability of this colorimetric system to detect foodborne pathogens was demonstrated with spiked fruit and vegetable samples. This low-cost and effective colorimetric method can be conveniently employed for the analysis of DNA sequences arising from pathogenic bacteria.
Part of the book: Biosensing Technologies for the Detection of Pathogens