Efficacy of two Staphylococcus aureus phage cocktails in cheese production.

Haddad, L.E., Roy, J.-P., Khalil, G.E., St-Gelais, D., Champagne, C.P., Labrie, S, and Moineau, S. (2016). "Efficacy of two Staphylococcus aureus phage cocktails in cheese production.", International Journal of Food Microbiology, 217, pp. 7-13. doi : 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2015.10.001  Access to full text

Abstract

Staphylococcus aureus is one of the most prevalent pathogenic bacteria contaminating dairy products. In an effort to reduce food safety risks, virulent phages are investigated as antibacterial agents to control foodborne pathogens. The aim of this study was to compare sets of virulent phages, design phage cocktails, and use them in a cocktail to control pathogenic staphylococci in cheese. Six selected phages belonging to the three Caudovirales families (Myoviridae, Siphoviridae, Podoviridae) were strictly lytic, had a broad host range, and did not carry genes coding for virulence traits in their genomes. However, they were sensitive to pasteurization. At MOI levels of 15, 45, and 150, two anti S. aureus phage cocktails, each containing three phages, one from each of the three phage families, eradicated a 106 CFU/g S. aureus population after 14 days of Cheddar cheese curd ripening at 4 °C. The use of these phages did not trigger over-production of S. aureus enterotoxin C. The use of phage cocktails and their rotation may prevent the emergence of phage resistant bacterial strains.

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