Moraes, et al. Bacteriocinogenic and virulence potential of Enterococcus isolates obtained from raw milk and cheese. Journal of Applied Microbiology, 113, 318-328, 2012

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Aims:  Provide molecular and phenotypical characterization of Enterococcus isolates obtained from raw milk and cheese, regarding to their bacteriocinogenic and virulence activity.

Methods and Results:  Forty-three bacteriocinogenic enterococci isolates were identified by 16s rDNA, fingerprinted by RAPD-PCR analysis, and tested by PCR for the presence of genes for lantibiotics (lanM, lanB, and lanC) and enterocins (entA, entB, entP, entL50AB, and entAS48), and by phenotypical methods for bacteriocins production and inhibitory spectrum. Also, the virulence of the isolates was evaluated by PCR for genes gelE, hyl, asa1, esp, cylA, efaA, ace, vanA, vanB, hdc1, hdc2, tdc, and odc, and by phenotypical tests for gelatinase, lipase, DNAse and α and β-haemolysis. Most isolates (93.0%) harboured at least one lantibiotic or enterocin gene and were positive for several tested virulence genes, mainly asa1 (100%), gelE (93.0%), and efaA (83.7%). 53.5% of the isolates presented β-haemolysis.

Conclusions: Enterococcus spp. isolates presented an interesting potential application for food preservation due to bacteriocins production; however, virulence related genes were identified in all RAPD profiles.

Significance and Impact of the Study:  The study demonstrated the contradictory characteristics of the tested Enterococcus isolates: they presented a good potential for application in food biopreservation but contained several virulence factors.

DOI: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2012.05341.x

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