Pathogen testing

Trust 3M for a complete pathogen testing system that works together to elevate your lab’s performance. Be confident in your pathogen testing process, and reduce time and labour costs with a single post-enrichment protocol for all pathogens with ready-to-use reagents, and same or next day results for most matrices. Work more efficiently, with a space-saving design and ability to test for multiple types of pathogens simultaneously.

3M™ Molecular Detection System
3M™ Molecular Detection System

The 3M Molecular Detection System will take your lab to the next level. We’ve designed a robust system that gives you the speed and simplicity you want, and the consistency and reliability you need.


Choose a smart solution for your pathogen testing

The 3M Molecular Detection System (MDS) offers a broad range of pathogen testing, including Salmonella, Listeria spp., Listeria monocytogenes, E. coli O157, Campylobacter and other kits to detect foodborne pathogens in a wide variety of foods and environmental samples. Utilising progressive loop-mediated isothermal DNA amplification (LAMP) technology, our system is designed to give you more control and overcome certain limitations of Polymerase Chain Reaction (PCR) testing methods. See our simple comparison of the technologies (PDF, 89.4 KB).

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    Accuracy you need

    Using robust, sensitive technology, the 3M Molecular Detection System is designed to improve user experience of rapid pathogen testing by taking away complexity and minimising processing risks while offering the molecular accuracy needed. A single streamlined post-enrichment protocol, ready-to-use reagents and colour-coded assay tubes make our system easy to use, with less chance of human error.

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    Giving you control

    The 3M Molecular Detection System is fast, accurate and easy-to-use, with positive results as early as 15 minutes from start of instrument run. And with an automatic instrument self-check, matrix control, reagent control and software control, our system offers control throughout the testing process so you can have confidence in your results.

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    Designed for efficiency

    The streamlined workflow combined with our space-saving design means you can do more, with less. Plus, with the ability to run all assays simultaneously, the flexibility for up to 96 tests in each run and the option to connect up to four instruments to the same computer, you can work efficiently and maximise throughput.

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    Technology to trust

    The 3M Molecular Detection System has received certifications from third-party organisations and is used by leading food processors and testing labs globally. The U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service (USDA FSIS) has chosen the 3M Molecular Detection System as its primary method for Salmonella, Listeria monocytogenes and Campylobacter testing.

Discover the complete 3M Molecular Detection System

Each compact, streamlined component works together to optimise performance, with features that save time, increase productivity and assure accuracy.

Using isothermal DNA amplification and bioluminescence detection, these assays detect as low as 1-5 CFU of target per original sample even in the most challenging sample matrices. Ready-to-use reagents minimise the chance for error, a colour-change process control gives you increased confidence of successful lysis and a streamlined workflow reduces technician time by 30%. Read the whitepaper for more details (PDF 1MB).

  • 3M™ Molecular Detection Assays

    3M™ Molecular Detection Assays

    Get cutting-edge technology that evolves to meet your needs with the next generation of 3M Molecular Detection Assays. Each assay contains two main components:

    Assay Reagent Tubes

    • Colour-coded by organism for easy identification
    • Six primers and robust Bst DNA polymerase for high sensitivity and specificity
    • Detects 1-5 CFU of target pathogen per original sample
    • Single assay protocol helps improve productivity


    Lysis Solution Tubes

    • Advanced chemistry based on 3M nanotechnology
    • Colour-change process control for increased confidence in lysis step
    • No reagent preparation
  • 3M™ Molecular Detection Instrument

    3M™ Molecular Detection Instrument

    Small, but powerful

    A small device can have a big impact on your lab’s performance. Featuring a compact footprint that fits in any lab, a solid design with no moving parts and automatic diagnostics at start-up, this affordable instrument requires minimal maintenance. And with a high capacity of 96 samples and the flexibility to run all assays simultaneously, you can maximise your output.


    • Compact design fits in any lab
    • Up to 96 tests per run for high throughput
    • Run all assays simultaneously for increased productivity
    • Use up to four instruments at the same time with one computer
  • 3M™ Molecular Detection Software on a screen

    3M™ Molecular Detection Software

    Make critical decisions, fast

    When you’re making important choices that could impact businesses and public health, you need software that’s intuitive and powerful. The 3M Molecular Detection Software helps get you results when you need them — and has a user-friendly interface for quick set up and real-time results for fast decisions.


    • Simple data entry helps increase efficiency
    • Presumptive positive samples identified in as little as 15 minutes from start of instrument run
    • Custom reports and LIMS compatibility for enhanced information management
    • Easy online access to software updates

Our range of 3M Molecular Detection Assays

How to use the 3M Molecular Detection System

View protocol reference guide (PDF 7MB)
  • setup of the 3M™ Molecular Detection Software
    1. Set it up

    Power up the system, launch the software and enter your data. Transfer enriched samples to the pre-filled lysis tubes.

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    2. Run the test

    Heat and cool the lysis tubes. Add the sample lysate to the reagent tubes.

  • 3M™ Molecular Detection Software in use
    3. Get results

    Press start, load the instrument and let it work. Monitor real-time presumptive results as pathogen DNA is detected.

Learn more about the 3M Molecular Detection System

  • Get to know the 3M Molecular Detection System

    Get to know the 3M Molecular Detection System

    Duration: 1:00 min

  • See how our pathogen solution is helping businesses

    See how our pathogen solution is helping businesses

    Duration: 1:16 min

  • 3M Molecular Detection System automated by Hamilton® foodInspect™ NIMBUS®

    3M Molecular Detection System automated by Hamilton® foodInspect™ NIMBUS®

    Duration: 1:00 min

Validations and Recognitions

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    • You need testing you can trust.
      3M Molecular Detection Assays are created and inspected by a team of 3M scientists and engineers, and are validated by international organizations.

      • NF VALIDATION by AFNOR Certification
      • AOAC® Official Methods of Analysis℠
      • AOAC® Performance Tested Methods℠
    • See full certifications for 3M Molecular Detection System (PDF 1MB)

Dive deeper into the 3M Molecular Detection System

A more sustainable pathogen testing solution

Help to meet your company’s sustainability goals and see how the 3M Molecular Detection Assay 2 – Salmonella can reduce your environmental impact over using ISO 6579 Cultural Salmonella Method in four key areas:

  • icon showing a reduction in water usage

    77% less water

  • icon showing a reduction in energy usage

    77% less energy

  • icon showing a reduction in waste

    83% less waste

  • icon showing a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions

    76% lower greenhouse gas emissions

  • Dive into details and read our study on "Reduction in Primary Energy Demand, Blue Water Consumption and Greenhouse Gas Emissions from 3M™ Molecular Detection Assay 2 – Salmonella Method Compared to ISO 6579 Cultural Salmonella Method".

  • If you’re still using agar plates to test for Salmonella pathogens, you’re missing a great chance to improve your company’s sustainability goals. Simply click the link below to see how much more eco-friendly you can be with 3M™ Molecular Detection Assay 2 – Salmonella. You might be in for a big surprise!

3M Healthcare Academy -  Learn more about the science of food safety

Learn more about the science of food safety

Join our 3M Health Care Academy for free webinars and resources that help you deepen your expertise and improve food safety and quality in your business.

Ready to give 3M's pathogen testing solution a try?

Ready to give 3M's pathogen testing solution a try?

  • Contact 3M Representative

    Talk to a 3M Food Safety expert to discuss how 3M Molecular Detection System could support your environmental testing and pathogen testing process.

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Find where to buy 3M pathogen testing products

Find where to buy 3M pathogen testing products

View 3M pathogen testing products in our online product catalogue for 3M ordering information or view all your where to buy options.

Support you can count on

Support you can count on

Protecting the world’s food supply is a big responsibility — but we’re here to help. We’ve got people to support you locally with technical advice, software support, and exceptional service.

From purchase, through to installation and ongoing support, we’ll help you mitigate risk and improve operations — every batch, every shift, every day.

Choose the right food safety solution for your needs

  • Free up your lab to focus on quality and efficiency with our ready to use, validated and accurate testing solution.

  • Better samples create better results. Standardise your sampling procedure and drive consistency and efficiency.

  • Fast and accurate colony counting. Save counting time—reader enumerates plates in 6 seconds or less and drive accuracy with reduced risk of human error.

  • 3M offers a broad range of products - from separation, filtration & purification products to personal protective equipment, surface & floor cleaning products to durable label and packaging solutions - that support food and beverage manufacturers. Take a look at how 3M can support you (PDF 6MB).

  • Learn more about the science of food safety. Free webinars and resources that help you deepen your expertise and improve food safety and quality in your business – anytime, from anywhere.

  • 3M Food Safety products are available direct from 3M or from our authorised channel partners. Visit our 'Purchasing information' page to contact a 3M representative, view our online product catalogue or to find a local channel partner.

  • We are here to help! Get in touch with our food safety support team for advice about our solutions and how to use them.
    Contact us!