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Pathatrix is a molecular biology technique used for detecting pathogenic and/or spoilage bacterium in food samples. Pathatrix is an immuno-capture method whose feature allows the entire sample plus pre-enriched sample to be recirculated over antibody-coated paramagnetic beads. It can specifically purify and detect pathogens directly from food samples within hours. It is also used to improve the performance of other rapid methods such as PCR, lateral flow, ELISA, chromgenic media by reducing or eliminating the need for lengthy enrichment and/or selective enrichment steps. The Pathatrix is useful in pathogen labs that would be running food samples and looking for foodborne diseases.

The Pathatrix was developed due to the foodborne outbreaks occurring. If infected with a foodborne disease it can be fatal to some individuals such as, very young or elderly. The Pathatrix is a rapid test method that helps in testing for microorganisms quickly.There are some foods that the Pathatrix is not useful for such as pre-pared sandwiches.

Pathatrix equipment and procedure

The Pathatrix consist of five independent units for testing allowing five pumpheads. Tubing is then needed for the recirculations process. It is made of silicone rubber. Another part is the capture reagent, this consist of magnetic beads particles that are coated with an antibody specific to the target pathogen.

The Pathatrix will selectively bind and purify the target organism from a comprehensive range of complex food matrices. The Pathatrix is the only microbial detection system that allows for the entire sample to be analyzed. With providing heat in the incubation pots this makes the Pathatrix more sensitive for the detection of the target organism.

To perform a test using the Pathatrix it usually consists of 4 major steps. They include sample preparation, pre-incubation, placing the sample in the Pathatrix, and washing and elution.

Once the food samples are ready they are placed in the five independent incubation pots. The tub is then connected to form a loop and the magnetic beads are added. Once all this has been done the process in the Pathatrix takes place. The process runs for 180 minutes at a temperature between 30-37 degrees Celsius. After the incubation has taken place the target organism, now captured by the reagent, are now retained on the magnetic while unwanted debris is taken away. During the capture phase the microorganisms are removed from the system and further processed. This is done so that colonies cab be viewed within 16 hours. This system should save someone at least 2 days.


1. Wu, Vivian (February 2004), "Copyright: Rapid Protocol (5.25H) For The Detection Of Escherichia Coli 0157:H7In Raw Ground
Beef By An Immuno-Capture System (Pathatrix) In Combination With Colortrix and CT-SMAC", Journal of Rapid Methods and Automation in Microbiology 12 (2004)57-67

This article is licensed under the GNU Free Documentation License. It uses material from the Wikipedia article "Pathatrix". A list of authors is available in Wikipedia.
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