Viability Detection of Foodborne Bacterial Pathogens in Food Environment by PMA-qPCR and by Microscopic Observation

  • Thomas Brauge
  • Graziella Midelet-Bourdin
  • Christophe SoumetEmail author
Part of the Methods in Molecular Biology book series (MIMB, volume 1918)


Foodborne pathogens are responsible of foodborne diseases and food poisoning and thus pose a great threat to food safety. These microorganisms can adhere to surface and form a biofilm composed of an extracellular matrix. This extracellular matrix protects bacterial cells from industrial environmental stress factors such as cleaning and disinfection operations. Moreover, during these environmental stresses, many bacterial species can enter a viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state. VBNC cells are characterized by a loss of cultivability on conventional bacteriological agar. This leads to an underestimation of total viable cells in environmental samples, and thus poses a risk for public health. In this chapter, we present a method to detect viable population of foodborne pathogens in industrial environmental samples using a molecular method with a combination of propidium monoazide (PMA) and quantitative PCR (qPCR) and a fluorescence microscopic method associated with the LIVE/DEAD BacLight™ viability stain.

Key words

Foodborne Viable Microscopy Live/dead staining Propidium monoazide PMA-qPCR 



Part of this work was supported by a grant from the CPER (Contrat de Plan Etat Région Nord-Pas de Calais, axe qualité et sécurité des ressources aquatiques).


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  • Thomas Brauge
    • 1
    • 2
  • Graziella Midelet-Bourdin
    • 1
    • 2
  • Christophe Soumet
    • 2
    • 3
    Email author
  1. 1.Laboratory for Food SafetyFrench Agency for Food, Environmental and Occupational Health and SafetyBoulogne sur MerFrance
  2. 2.RMT ChleanJoint Technological Network: Hygienic Design of Production Lines and EquipmentFougèresFrance
  3. 3.Fougères LaboratoryANSESFougèresFrance

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