Neogen launches one-step, 30-hour Listeria enrichment medium

CONTACT: Ed Bradley, VP Sales & Marketing, 517/372-9200


LANSING, Mich., Nov. 2, 2005 — Neogen has released a new culture medium that has made detecting Listeria in environmental samples quicker and easier, without sacrificing accuracy.

Neogen’s new LESS (Listeria Enrichment Single Step) medium trims the incubation time needed to detect Listeria in environmental sample swabs and sponges to 30 hours, from 48 hours or longer for most other test systems. The new single-step medium also eliminates the need to incubate samples in two enrichment media, and the hands-on time needed to transfer samples from medium to medium.

Contamination of food products with the dangerous Listeria species of bacteria is one of the major safety concerns within the estimated $300 million worldwide food safety testing market. Precooked products, such as deli meats and hot dogs, present the highest risk for Listeria-caused illness (listeriosis) because they are sold as ready to eat, or they are prone to be not sufficiently cooked by consumers to kill all possible bacterial contaminants. Listeriosis has been shown to cause miscarriages, and also poses a severe risk to those with immature or weakened immune systems.

“Simplifying our wide-range of tests is a continual goal of ours, and we are very pleased to launch an improved medium that will simplify Listeria detection,” said Ed Bradley, Neogen’s vice president of Food Safety Sales and Marketing. “This advancement is a result of our ability to bring together our Acumedia R&D culture media scientists with our Neogen assay teams to find a easier and quicker method to detect Listeria in real-world food processing environments.”

The new LESS medium can be used with either Neogen’s Reveal® for Listeria lateral flow or GeneQuence™ Listeria DNA hybridization test system. Reveal for Listeria provides a very easy method of screening environmental samples for the presence of the pathogen. Just add an enriched sample to the testing device, and a clear result is available in about 15 minutes.

GeneQuence Listeria and GeneQuence Listeria monocytogenes are assays that combine DNA hybridization technology with full automation capability to provide rapid, highly accurate results. GeneQuence’s ability to test a relatively few samples manually, or large numbers automatically, provides easy method standardization for companies with many testing facilities with varying test volumes.

In validation studies, LESS medium demonstrated superior recovery performance when used with swabs and sponges that sampled various environmental surfaces. LESS medium dramatically increased the recovery of stressed Listeria cells spiked onto the surfaces, and all positives detected with LESS were confirmed using the standard BAM culture method.

Neogen Corporation (Nasdaq: NEOG) develops and markets products and services dedicated to food and animal safety. The Company’s Food Safety Division markets dehydrated culture media, and diagnostic test kits to detect foodborne bacteria, natural toxins, genetic modifications, food allergens, ruminant by-products, drug residues, plant diseases and sanitation concerns.