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See detailMetagenomic analysis of the bacterial microbiota linked to the traditional Algerian date product "Btana"
Abekhti, Abdelkader; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Kihal, Mabrouk et al

in Annals of Microbiology (2015)

In this study, using high throughput pyrosequencing, we highlighted the bacterial diversity of the traditional Algerian date product "Btana" that is produced in southern Algeria using both direct (DBM ... [more ▼]

In this study, using high throughput pyrosequencing, we highlighted the bacterial diversity of the traditional Algerian date product "Btana" that is produced in southern Algeria using both direct (DBM) and indirect (UBM) methods. Metagenomic analysis yielded a total of 103,379 reads, with a 606 total operational taxonomic units (OTUs) detected. Firmicutes represented 84.79 % of the total pyrosequencing reads. Phylogenetic analysis revealed that the Bacillales represented 90.20 % ± 15.12 % of the total reads. Among the phylotypes detected, Bacillus was the dominant genus (39.53 %). While Bacillus megaterium was shared among all of the samples, its distribution varied widely. Non-metric multidimensional scaling (nMDS) analysis showed that UBM samples clustered together, and three main OTUs were found in these UBM samples: Paenibacillus polymyxa, Paenibacillus xylanexedens, and Planomicrobium JN082684. Correlation analysis showed no association between parametersof the samples (age, pH, water activity) and the specific microbiota. [less ▲]

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See detailInvestigation of clostridium difficile interspecies relatedness using multilocus sequence typing, multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis and antimicrobial susceptibility testing
Rodriguez Diaz, Cristina ULg; Avesani, Véronique; Taminiau, Bernard ULg et al

in Veterinary Microbiology (2015)

Multilocus sequence typing (MLST), multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) and antimicrobial susceptibility were performed on 37 animal and human C. difficile isolates belonging to 15 ... [more ▼]

Multilocus sequence typing (MLST), multilocus variable-number tandem-repeat analysis (MLVA) and antimicrobial susceptibility were performed on 37 animal and human C. difficile isolates belonging to 15 different PCR-ribotypes in order to investigate the relatedness of human and animal isolates and to identify possible transmission routes. MLVA identified a total of 21 different types while MLST only distinguished 12 types. Identical C. difficile strains were detected in the same animal species for PCR-ribotypes 014, 078, UCL 16U and UCL 36, irrespective of their origin or the isolation date. Non clonal strains were found among different hosts; however, a high genetic association between pig and cattle isolates belonging to PCR-ribotype 078 was revealed. MLVA also showed genetic differences that clearly distinguished human from animal strains. For a given PCR-ribotype, human and animal strains presented a similar susceptibility to the antimicrobials tested. All strains were susceptible to vancomycin, metronidazole, chloramphenicol and rifampicin, while PCR-ribotypes 078, UCL 5a, UCL 36 and UCL 103 were associated with erythromycin resistance. The data suggest a wide dissemination of clones at hospitals and breeding-farms or a contamination at the slaughterhouse, but less probability of interspecies transmission. However, further highly discriminatory genotyping methods are necessary to elucidate interspecies and zoonotic transmission of C. difficile. [less ▲]

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See detailA review of the microbiological hazards of dairy products made from raw milks
Verraes, Claire; Vlaemynck, Geertrui; Van Weyenberg, Stéphanie et al

in International Dairy Journal (2015), 50

This review concentrates on information concerning microbiological hazards possibly present in raw milk dairy products, in particular cheese, butter, cream and buttermilk. The main microbiological hazards ... [more ▼]

This review concentrates on information concerning microbiological hazards possibly present in raw milk dairy products, in particular cheese, butter, cream and buttermilk. The main microbiological hazards of raw milk cheeses (especially soft and fresh cheeses) are linked to Listeria monocytogenes, verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and Campylobacter. L. monocytogenes, VTEC and S. aureus have been identified as microbiological hazards in raw milk butter and cream albeit to a lesser extent because of a reduced growth potential compared with cheese. In endemic areas, raw milk dairy products may also be contaminated with Brucella spp., Mycobacterium bovis and the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Potential risks due to Coxiella burnetii and Mycobacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) are discussed. Pasteurisation ensures inactivation of vegetative pathogenic microorganisms, which increases the safety of products made thereof compared with dairy products made from raw milk. Several control measures from farm to fork are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailA review of the microbiological hazards of dairy products made from raw milk
Verraes, Claire; Vlaemynck, G; Van Weyenberg, S et al

in International Dairy Journal (2015), 50

This review concentrates on information concerning microbiological hazards possibly present in raw milk dairy products, in particular cheese, butter, cream and buttermilk. The main microbiological hazards ... [more ▼]

This review concentrates on information concerning microbiological hazards possibly present in raw milk dairy products, in particular cheese, butter, cream and buttermilk. The main microbiological hazards of raw milk cheeses (especially soft and fresh cheeses) are linked to Listeria monocytogenes, verocytotoxin-producing Escherichia coli (VTEC), Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella and Campylobacter. L. monocytogenes, VTEC and S. aureus have been identified as microbiological hazards in raw milk butter and cream albeit to a lesser extent because of a reduced growth potential compared with cheese. In endemic areas, raw milk dairy products may also be contaminated with Brucella spp., Mycobacterium bovis and the tick-borne encephalitis virus (TBEV). Potential risks due to Coxiella burnetii and Myco- bacterium avium subsp. paratuberculosis (MAP) are discussed. Pasteurisation ensures inactivation of vegetative pathogenic microorganisms, which increases the safety of products made thereof compared with dairy products made from raw milk. Several control measures from farm to fork are discussed. [less ▲]

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See detailCecal drop reflects the chickens' cecal microbiome, fecal drop does not.
Pauwels, J.; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Janssens, Guy ULg et al

in Journal of microbiological methods (2015)

Microbiota in the gastro-intestinal tract are closely related to both the intestinal and overall health of the host. Experimental chickens have always been euthanized in order to identify and quantify the ... [more ▼]

Microbiota in the gastro-intestinal tract are closely related to both the intestinal and overall health of the host. Experimental chickens have always been euthanized in order to identify and quantify the bacteria in cecal content. In this study, quantification and identification of the microbial populations in cecal drop, cecal content and fecal drop samples from chickens showed that cecal drop contains a bacterial community that is very similar (concerning bacterial diversity, richness and species composition) to cecal content, as opposed to the bacterial community found in fecal drop. Cecal drop analysis thus allows for longitudinal experiments on chickens' cecal bacteria. The varying results in the analysis of fecal samples questions the method's reliability in reflecting the true cecal microbiota in chickens. [less ▲]

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See detailNon Digestible Oligosaccharides Modulate the Gut Microbiota to Control the Development of Leukemia and Associated Cachexia in Mice.
Bindels, Laure B.; Neyrinck, Audrey M.; Salazar, Nuria et al

in PloS one (2015), 10(6), 0131009

We tested the hypothesis that changing the gut microbiota using pectic oligosaccharides (POS) or inulin (INU) differently modulates the progression of leukemia and related metabolic disorders. Mice were ... [more ▼]

We tested the hypothesis that changing the gut microbiota using pectic oligosaccharides (POS) or inulin (INU) differently modulates the progression of leukemia and related metabolic disorders. Mice were transplanted with Bcr-Abl-transfected proB lymphocytes mimicking leukemia and received either POS or INU in their diet (5%) for 2 weeks. Combination of pyrosequencing, PCR-DGGE and qPCR analyses of the 16S rRNA gene revealed that POS decreased microbial diversity and richness of caecal microbiota whereas it increased Bifidobacterium spp., Roseburia spp. and Bacteroides spp. (affecting specifically B. dorei) to a higher extent than INU. INU supplementation increased the portal SCFA propionate and butyrate, and decreased cancer cell invasion in the liver. POS treatment did not affect hepatic cancer cell invasion, but was more efficient than INU to decrease the metabolic alterations. Indeed, POS better than INU delayed anorexia linked to cancer progression. In addition, POS treatment increased acetate in the caecal content, changed the fatty acid profile inside adipose tissue and counteracted the induction of markers controlling beta-oxidation, thereby hampering fat mass loss. Non digestible carbohydrates with prebiotic properties may constitute a new nutritional strategy to modulate gut microbiota with positive consequences on cancer progression and associated cachexia. [less ▲]

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See detailShort communication: Evaluation of the microbiota of kefir samples using metagenetic analysis targeting the 16S and 26S ribosomal DNA fragments
Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Leclercq, Mathilde et al

in Journal of Dairy Science (2015), 98

Milk kefir is produced by fermenting milk in the presence of kefir grains. This beverage has several benefits for human health. The aim of this experiment was to analyze 5 kefir grains (and their products ... [more ▼]

Milk kefir is produced by fermenting milk in the presence of kefir grains. This beverage has several benefits for human health. The aim of this experiment was to analyze 5 kefir grains (and their products) using a targeted metagenetic approach. Of the 5 kefir grains analyzed, 1 was purchased in a supermarket, 2 were provided by the Ministry of Agriculture (Namur, Belgium), and 2 were provided by individuals. The metagenetic approach targeted the V1-V3 fragment of the 16S ribosomal (r)DNA for the grains and the resulting beverages at 2 levels of grain incorporation (5 and 10%) to identify the bacterial species population. In contrast, the 26S rDNA pyrosequencing was performed only on kefir grains with the aim of assessing the yeast populations. In parallel, pH measurements were performed on the kefir obtained from the kefir grains using 2 incorporation rates. Regarding the bacterial population, 16S pyrosequencing revealed the presence of 20 main bacterial species, with a dominance of the following: Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens, Lactococcus lactis ssp. cremoris, Gluconobacter frateurii, Lactobacillus kefiri, Acetobacter orientalis, and Acetobacter lovaniensis. An important difference was noticed between the kefir samples: kefir grain purchased from a supermarket (sample E) harbored a much higher proportion of several operational taxonomic units of Lactococcus lactis and Leuconostoc mesenteroides. This sample of grain was macroscopically different from the others in terms of size, apparent cohesion of the grains, structure, and texture, probably associated with a lower level of Lactobacillus kefiranofaciens. The kefir (at an incorporation rate of 5%) produced from this sample of grain was characterized by a lower pH value (4.5) than the others. The other 4 samples of kefir (5%) had pH values above 5. Comparing the kefir grain and the kefir, an increase in the population of Gluconobacter in grain sample B was observed. This was also the case for Acetobacter orientalis in sample D. In relation to 26S pyrosequencing, our study revealed the presence of 3 main yeast species: Naumovozymaspp., Kluyveromyces marxianus, and Kazachastania khefir. For Naumovozyma, further studies are needed to assess the isolation of new species. In conclusion, this study has proved that it is possible to establish the patterns of bacterial and yeast composition of kefir and kefir grain. This was only achieved with the use of high-throughput sequencing techniques. [less ▲]

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See detailMicrobiological safety and quality aspects of the short supply chain: SWOT analysis of the Belgian case study
Verraes, Claire; Uyttendaele, Mieke; Clinquart, Antoine ULg et al

in British Food Journal (2015), 117(9), 2250-2264

Purpose – In recent years consumers in Belgium have shown a great interest for foods from the short supply chain. The difference with the conventional chain is that in the short supply chain the primary ... [more ▼]

Purpose – In recent years consumers in Belgium have shown a great interest for foods from the short supply chain. The difference with the conventional chain is that in the short supply chain the primary products are locally processed and sold directly by the producer to the consumer. The short supply chain has different microbiological quality and safety aspects in comparison with the conventional chain. The purpose of this paper is to evaluate these aspects. Design/methodology/approach – The methodology consists of analyzing the available scientific literature and results of microbiological analyses on foods from the short supply chain. Findings – The main findings were that Listeria monocytogenes was frequently detected (15 percent) in sampled raw dairy products whereas Salmonella was not isolated in 1,023 samples. Human pathogenic vero (cyto) toxin-producing Escherichia coli and Campylobacter spp. are potential hazards, in particular for products that are not thermally treated. Data with regard to E. coli counts showed a greater variability in products from the short supply chain compared to the conventional chain. Research limitations/implications – The paper discusses strengths and weaknesses with impact on microbial quality and safety in operation of food safety management in the short supply chain vs the conventional chain. Originality/value – This is the first paper that assesses the risks from the short supply chain vs the conventional chain and that makes recommendations for operators in the short supply chain [less ▲]

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See detailThe effects of xylo-oligosaccharides on performance and microbiota in broiler chickens.
De Maesschalck, C.; Eeckhaut, V.; Maertens, L. et al

in Applied and environmental microbiology (2015)

In broiler chickens, feed additives, including prebiotics, are widely used to improve gut health and to stimulate performance. Xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) are hydrolytic degradation products of ... [more ▼]

In broiler chickens, feed additives, including prebiotics, are widely used to improve gut health and to stimulate performance. Xylo-oligosaccharides (XOS) are hydrolytic degradation products of arabinoxylans that can be fermented by the gut microbiota. In the current study it was aimed to analyze the prebiotic properties of XOS when added to the broiler diet. Administration of XOS to chickens, on top of a wheat/rye-based diet, significantly improved the feed conversion ratio. XOS significantly increased villus length in the ileum. It also significantly increased numbers of lactobacilli in the colon and Clostridium cluster XIVa in the caeca. Moreover, the number of gene copies encoding the key bacterial enzyme for butyrate production, butyryl-CoA:acetate CoA-transferase, was significantly increased in the caeca of chickens administered XOS. In this group of chickens, at species level, Lactobacillus crispatus and Anaerostipes butyraticus were significantly increased in abundance in the colon and caecum, respectively. In vitro fermentation of XOS revealed cross-feeding between L. crispatus and A. butyraticus. Lactate, produced by L. crispatus during XOS fermentation, was utilized by the butyrate-producing Anaerostipes species. These data show the beneficial effects of XOS on broiler performance when added to the feed, which potentially can be explained by stimulation of butyrate-producing bacteria through cross-feeding of lactate and subsequent effects of butyrate on gastrointestinal function. [less ▲]

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See detailThermophilic and cellulolytic consortium isolated from composting plants improves anaerobic digestion of cellulosic biomass: toward a microbial resource management approach
Kinet, Romain ULg; Destain, Jacqueline ULg; Hiligsmann, Serge ULg et al

in Bioresource Technology (2015)

A cellulolytic consortium was isolated from a composting plant in order to boost the initial hydrolysis step encountered in anaerobic digestion. Improvement of the cellulose degradation, as well as biogas ... [more ▼]

A cellulolytic consortium was isolated from a composting plant in order to boost the initial hydrolysis step encountered in anaerobic digestion. Improvement of the cellulose degradation, as well as biogas production, was observed for the cultures inoculated with the exogenous consortium. Metagenomics analyses pointed out a weak richness (related to the number of OTUs) of the exogenous consortium induced by the selective pressure (cellulose as sole carbon source) met during the initial isolation steps. Main microbial strains determined were strictly anaerobic and belong to the Clostridia class. During cellulose anaerobic degradation, pH drop induced a strong modification of the microbial population. Despite the fact that richness and evenness were very weak, the exogenous consortium was able to adapt and to maintain the cellulolytic degradation potential. This important result point out the fact that simplified microbial communities could be used in order to increase the robustness of mixed cultures involved in environmental biotechnology. [less ▲]

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See detailThe impact of oregano (Origanum heracleoticum) essential oil and carvacrol on virulence gene transcription by Escherichia coli O157:H7
Mith, Hasika; Clinquart, Antoine ULg; Zhiri, Abdesselam et al

in FEMS Microbiology Letters (2015), 362

The aim of the current study was to determine, via reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis, the effect of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum) and ... [more ▼]

The aim of the current study was to determine, via reverse transcription quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR) analysis, the effect of oregano essential oil (Origanum heracleoticum) and carvacrol, its major component, on the expression of virulence-associated genes in enterohaemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 ATCC strain 35150. Both oregano oil and carvacrol demonstrated their efficacy firstly, by inhibiting the transcription of the ler gene involved in up regulation of the LEE2, LEE3 and LEE4 promoters and of attaching and effacing lesions and secondly by decreasing both Shiga toxin and fliC genes expression. In addition, a decrease in luxS gene transcription involved in quorum sensing was observed. These results were dose dependent and showed a specific effect of O. heracleoticum and carvacrol in downregulating the expression of virulence genes in EHEC O157:H7. These findings suggest that oregano oil and carvacrol have the potential to mitigate the adverse health effects caused by virulence gene expression in EHEC O157: [less ▲]

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See detailDetecting microbial patterns in relation to soil agricultural practices and the plant development stage
Degrune, Florine ULg; Dufrêne, Marc ULg; Taminiau, Bernard ULg et al

Poster (2014, December 02)

Agricultural practices have a strong impact on soil bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, microbial community composition can change with the stage of plant development. We are interested in exploring these ... [more ▼]

Agricultural practices have a strong impact on soil bacteria and fungi. Furthermore, microbial community composition can change with the stage of plant development. We are interested in exploring these effects in relation to changes induced by agriculture and plant stage in soil conditions. Some bacteria are influenced only by the plant stage, which induces changes in soil humidity, pH, nitrates, and carbon. We would thus expect these bacteria to be highly sensitive to these parameters. Other bacteria are affected only by the tillage practice applied. Further study is needed to identify the soil parameters responsible for this effect. The plant stage also has a great impact on fungal community composition. [less ▲]

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See detailP180: Intérêt de la modulation du microbiote intestinal par les oligosaccharides non digestibles dans le contrôle de la leucémie et de la cachexie cancéreuse
Bindels, L.B.; Neyrinck, A.M.; Salazar, N. et al

in Nutrition Clinique et Metabolisme (2014, December), 28(S1), 162

Il est à présent clairement établi que l’ensemble des bactéries présentes dans l’intestin (le microbiote intestinal) est capable d’influencer l’homéostasie énergétique et immunitaire de son hôte. Nous ... [more ▼]

Il est à présent clairement établi que l’ensemble des bactéries présentes dans l’intestin (le microbiote intestinal) est capable d’influencer l’homéostasie énergétique et immunitaire de son hôte. Nous avons testé l’hypothèse selon laquelle une modulation du microbiote intestinal par des oligosaccharides issus de la pectine (POS) ou de l’inuline (INU) permet d’interférer avec la progression de la leucémie et des désordres métaboliques associés. [less ▲]

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See detailDiversity of Clostridium difficile isolates from humans and animals
Rodriguez Diaz, Cristina ULg; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Korsak Koulagenko, Nicolas ULg et al

Scientific conference (2014, October 17)

Clostridium difficile is an important cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals. The major risk factors for the development of nosocomial C. difficile associated disease include antibiotic therapy and ... [more ▼]

Clostridium difficile is an important cause of infectious diarrhea in hospitals. The major risk factors for the development of nosocomial C. difficile associated disease include antibiotic therapy and increasing age. In animals, as pigs, calves and horses, C. difficile also seems to be an important cause of enteric disease. The main objective of this study was to characterize and compare animal and human C. difficile strains with respect to the PCR-ribotype and the antibiotic resistance. Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) and multiple-Locus Variable number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) were performed in order to study clonal relationships of the isolates. Human C. difficile isolates were obtained from care home residents and hospitalized patients. Animal isolates were collected from stool samples and carcasses of pigs and cattle at slaughter. An identification of the strains was performed by PCR-ribotyping. Further characterization was performed by antibiotic resistance, MLST and MLVA analysis. A neighbourd-joining phylogenetic three was constructed in order to determine the correlation between human and food isolates. A great variety of PCR ribotypes was found among the animal isolates, including PCR ribotypes 078 and 014. The most prevalent PCR-ribotypes in the nursing home were PCR-ribotypes 027 and 020. A high resistance to moxifloxacin, erythromycin, gentamicin and clindamycin was detected for some of the strains. Phylogenetic analysis showed that human and animal isolates with the same PCR-ribotype cluster in the same lineage, suggesting a potential risk of interspecies transmission. [less ▲]

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See detailEvaluation of morphological and functional characteristics of Carnobacterium maltaromaticum isolated from vacuum-packaged beef with long shelf life
Didimo Imazaki, Pedro Henrique ULg; Tahiri, Assia ULg; Ndedi Ekolo, François ULg et al

Poster (2014, October 17)

Carnobacterium maltaromaticum is a lactic acid bacterium, and many lactic acid bacteria associated with meat are known for their bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity against other strains, species or ... [more ▼]

Carnobacterium maltaromaticum is a lactic acid bacterium, and many lactic acid bacteria associated with meat are known for their bactericidal or bacteriostatic activity against other strains, species or genera of bacteria. The presence of certain lactic acid bacteria adapted to a low temperature in fresh meat could extend the shelf life and improve the microbial stability and safety of this product. The aim of this study was to perform a morphological and functional characterization of a C. maltaromaticum strain with a potential bioprotective effect isolated from vacuum packaged beef with very long shelf life. The morphological, biochemical and enzymatic profiles, the influence of different temperatures and atmospheres, and the microbial stability of fresh beef inoculated with the C. maltaromaticum strain were evaluated. The isolated C. maltaromaticum strain presented similar morphological, biochemical and enzymatic profiles as those of two reference strains (LMG 11393 and LMG 22902). Among the studied conditions, a temperature of +12 °C and an atmosphere poor in oxygen were optimal for the growth of C. maltaromaticum. Vacuum packing is therefore suitable for this bacterium. An antimicrobial effect against Enterobacteriaceae was highlighted on inoculated fresh meat stored under N2. The functional characterization of this isolate will be further pursued by a genotypic characterization. Special attention will be taken to study its bioprotective properties. [less ▲]

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See detailRelatedness of human, animal and food Clostridium difficile strains
Rodriguez Diaz, Cristina ULg; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Avesani, Véronique et al

Poster (2014, September 18)

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See detailModelling the development of potential spoilage and biopreservative microorganisms on precooked pasta in different conditions of temperature based on classical microbiology and 16S rDNA metagenomic
Gand, Mathieu ULg; Cargnel, Mickaël ULg; Kergourlay, Gilles ULg et al

Poster (2014, September)

An important way to prevent the spoilage of food is the respect of the cold chain during the storage. While the temperature instructions are generally respected during process and distribution of food ... [more ▼]

An important way to prevent the spoilage of food is the respect of the cold chain during the storage. While the temperature instructions are generally respected during process and distribution of food products, it is not always the case with the consumers. Indeed, a few persons reach the right temperature level required for a safe storage of foodstuffs in their refrigerator. Besides, the food can sometimes spend a few hours in ambient temperature between the buying in the supermarket and the storage in cold temperature. In this study, we propose to model the growth of microorganisms on precooked pasta, stored in different conditions of temperature that reflect the situations described above (constant 4°C, constant 8°C, constant 12°C, 1/3 4°C – 2/3 8°C, 1/3 4°C – breach during 4h at 20°C – 2/3 8°C and 1/3 8°C – breach during 4h at 20°C – 2/3 8°C. The product was surface inoculated with potential spoilage and biopreservative strains (Lactococcus piscium, Leuconostoc mesenteroides and Leuconostoc citreum). Analyses by classical microbiology and V1-V3 16S rDNA metagenomics were done each day until the out of date of the food matrix. The transition from 4 to 8°C and the breach at 20°C during 4h have clearly boosted the growth of the microorganisms. The metagenomic analysis was a powerful tool to follow separately each population in each condition of storage. The results of this communication show the importance of keeping the foodstuffs in 4°C or lower in the refrigerator with the goal to avoid the spoilage or the development of pathogens and the potential of metagenomics for selection of biopreservative strains. [less ▲]

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See detailMultilocus sequence typing analysis and antibiotic resistance of Clostridium difficile strains isolated from retail meat and humans in Belgium
Rodriguez Diaz, Cristina ULg; Taminiau, Bernard ULg; Avesani, Véronique et al

in Food Microbiology (2014), 42

Clostridium difficile has been isolated from food animals and meat, specially ground pork and ground beef. The recovered isolates were closely related to C. difficile human strains, indicating that ... [more ▼]

Clostridium difficile has been isolated from food animals and meat, specially ground pork and ground beef. The recovered isolates were closely related to C. difficile human strains, indicating that animals and food are possible transmission routes of human C. difficile infection. The main objective of this study was to characterize C. difficile isolates from retail meat and to compare with human isolates recovered from hospital patients in Belgium. Raw meat (beef and pork) was obtained from the retail trade. C. difficile was recovered from 2.3% of the beef samples and from 4.7% of the pork samples. A total of 4 different PCR-ribotypes were identified with a large percentage of types 078 and 014. Resistance to moxifloxacin and erythromycin was detected. The multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) analysis showed that meat and human isolates cluster in the same lineage. This study reveals the presence of toxigenic C. difficile in retail meat in Belgium with predominance PCR-ribotypes 078 and 014, which are among the four most prevalent ribotypes of C. difficile isolated from humans in Europe. [less ▲]

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