11 Apr 2021
Foods (Basel, Switzerland);
Food microbiology is deluged by a vastly growing plethora of analytical methods. This review endeavors to color the context into which methodology has to fit and underlines the importance of sampling and sample treatment. The context is that the highest risk of food contamination is through the animal and human fecal route with a majority of foodborne infections originating from sources in mass and domestic kitchens at the end of the food-chain. Containment requires easy-to-use, failsafe, single-use tests giving an overall risk score in situ. Conversely, progressive food-safety systems are relying increasingly on early assessment of batches and groups involving risk-based sampling, monitoring environment and herd/flock health status, and (historic) food-chain information. Accordingly, responsible field laboratories prefer specificity, multi-analyte, and high-throughput procedures. Under certain etiological and epidemiological circumstances, indirect antigen immunoaffinity assays outperform the diagnostic sensitivity and diagnostic specificity of e.g., nucleic acid sequence-based assays. The current bulk of testing involves therefore
probing of humoral response to several pathogens. In this review, the inclusion of immunoglobulins against additional invasive micro-organisms indicating the level of hygiene and
public health risks in tests is advocated. Immunomagnetic separation, immunochromatography, immunosensor, microsphere array, lab-on-a-chip/disc platforms increasingly in combination with nanotechnologies, are discussed. The heuristic development of portable and ambulant microfluidic devices is intriguing and promising.
, many new platforms seem unattainable as the industry standard. Comparability of results with those of reference methods hinders the implementation of new technologies. Whatever the scientific and technological excellence and incentives, the decision-maker determines this implementation after weighing mainly costs and business risks.