M-55: Rapid detection and identification of 30 beer-spoilage bacteria in one test

C. Grönewald (1), J. HOFFMANN (1); (1) BIOTECON Diagnostics, Potsdam, Germany


The detection and identification of beer spoilage bacteria by conventional methods in a routine brewery lab is a time-consuming and laborious task. Real-time PCR using the foodproof beer screening kit (BIOTECON Diagnostics) provides easy, fast, and reliable results in 24–48 hr. BIOTECON Diagnostics has developed a test based on PCR and the LightCycler technology from Roche. It allows the detection of 30 beer-spoilage bacteria, including 12 single identifications, in just 1 test. The method does not require any molecular biological skills from the user and is adjusted to the routine lab allowing a throughput of up to 32 or 96 samples (depending on the instrument) per PCR run. Real-time PCR is performed on a LightCycler and uses hybridization probes and FRET (fluorescence resonance energy transfer) to detect the DNA amplificates. After the PCR run, the absence or presence of beer-spoilage bacteria can be detected immediately. Subsequent melting curve analysis allows the user to identify and differentiate bacteria from a positive result without any further hands-on time. Differences in length, G-C content, and base sequence make the signal obtained by melting curve investigation distinct for nearly every probe-DNA combination. BIOTECON Diagnostics, thus, provides a rapid and easy method for the screening of the most troublesome anaerobic beer-spoilage bacteria, along with their subsequent identification.

Julia Hoffmann is a key account manager at BIOTECON Diagnostics, where she is involved in contract development and services and research projects, as well as customer training and relations. BIOTECON Diagnostics is a real-time PCR kit manufacturer specializing in rapid microbial detection and identification for the food, beverage, and pharmaceutical industries. Julia received her Ph.D. degree in biology from the Heidelberg University in Germany. During her Ph.D. thesis work she tutored several courses on real-time PCR through her graduate program.

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