Author(s): Renye JA Jr, Somkuti GA, Paul M, Van Hekken DL
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Abstract Enterococci are often identified as constituents of the indigenous microflora from raw milk artisanal cheeses and are believed to contribute to the unique organoleptic qualities of these products. Many strains of enterococci are also known to produce antimicrobial peptides, enterocins, which may prevent the growth of certain food-born pathogens. In this study 33 enterococcal isolates from Hispanic-style cheeses were screened for the production of bacteriocins. Of the 33 isolates, 5 Enterococcus faecium and 1 Enterococcus durans isolates inhibited the growth of Listeria spp. The antilisterial activity was lost after treatment with pepsin, trypsin, pronase, proteinase K and alpha-chymotrypsin suggesting the active component was a protein or peptide. The active compounds were heat stable and had molecular weights between 4 and 8 kDa, which is characteristic of Class II enterocins. A PCR screen showed that four E. faecium isolates contained nucleic acid sequences for multiple enterocins. Isolate H41K contained entA and entP; and isolates H51Ca, H51Cb and H41B contained entA, entP and entL50AB, with H41B also containing entB. All PCR tests performed were negative for E. faecium isolate H41D, suggesting the production of a novel enterocin. The isolates were also screened for susceptibility to antibiotics, with only two showing low-level resistance to vancomycin (8 microg ml(-l)). However, three isolates were highly resistant to both tetracycline and kanamycin, with two of the isolates also showing high resistance to erythromycin.
This article was published in J Ind Microbiol Biotechnol
and referenced in Journal of Bioprocessing & Biotechniques