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Revista Ciência Agronômica

Print version ISSN 0045-6888On-line version ISSN 1806-6690

Abstract

PORTO, Bruna Castro et al. Determinants of virulence in Enterococcus endogenous to artisanal cheese. Rev. Ciênc. Agron. [online]. 2016, vol.47, n.1, pp.69-76. ISSN 0045-6888.  http://dx.doi.org/10.5935/1806-6690.20160008.

The presence of Enterococcus spp. in food poses a danger to public health due to its frequent association with various clinical infections. Pathogenicity in Enterococcus is multifactorial and complex, and stems from a sequence of virulence factors. The aim of this study was to evaluate the presence of phenotypic and genotypic determinants of virulence in Enterococcus spp. isolated from curd cheese. A total of 53 strains of Enterococcus spp. were analysed as to their susceptibility to antimicrobial agents, production of hemolysins, DNAse, thermonuclease, and gelatinase, and the profile of virulence-encoding genes. It was found that 75.5% of the strains were resistant to at least one of the nine antibiotics tested, 26.42% were resistant to two, and 3.77% to three antibiotics. The presence of vancomycin-resistance phenotypes was seen in 11.33% of the strains. Haemolytic activity was observed in 100% of strains and DNAse production in only 3.8%. There was no production of thermonuclease or gelatinase. Strains resistant to vancomycin and teicoplanin were identified as E. faecium and Enterococcus spp. The profile of the genetic determinants of virulence was highly variable, and 90% of the strains harboured at least one of the nine genes being studied. The efaA gene showed the highest prevalence (70%), followed by the ace gene (50%), the esp gene and gelE gene (40%).

Keywords : Dairy products; Lactic acid bacteria; Pathogenicity; Susceptibility to antibiotics.

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