Acta Vet. Brno 2012, 81: 391-396

Dynamics of staphylococcal enterotoxin production in model experiments simulating the fresh cheese environment

Lenka Necidová1, Bohdana Janštová1, Renata Karpíšková1,2

1University of Veterinary and Pharmaceutical Sciences Brno, Faculty of Veterinary Hygiene and Ecology, Department of Milk Hygiene and Technology, Brno, Czech Republic
2National Institute of Public Health Prague, Brno, Czech Republic

The aim of this study was to evaluate the impact of internal factors (pH, NaCl) and external factors (temperature, incubation time) on the ability of Staphylococcus aureus to grow and to produce staphylococcal enterotoxins SEA, SEB, and SEC. The fresh cheese environment was modelled in Brain Heart Infusion Broth media and food matrices (pasteurized milk from retail outlets) by internal and external factors (pH = 4.5 and 5.5, 2% NaCl, and t = 8 °C and 15 °C). The counts of enterotoxigenic strains of S. aureus at baseline, i.e. at the time of inoculation of model samples, corresponded to those encountered in the production of fresh cheeses as a result of post-pasteurization contamination. Enumeration of S. aureus was performed in accordance with EN ISO 6888-1, using agar medium. Staphylococcal enterotoxins were detected by the enzyme-linked fluorescence assay. The pH (4.5) and refrigeration temperature (8 °C) used prevented S. aureus from achieving the critical count of 105 cfu·ml-1 specified in Commission Regulation (EC) No. 2073/2005. The highest rates of enterotoxin production were recorded for enterotoxin A. The growth curves of S. aureus derived from model experiments were compared with the growth curve generated by a predictive microbiology program - Pathogen Modelling Program. The results of this study proved the Pathogen Modelling Program to be suitable for use in the Hazard Analysis Critical Control Points system in the process of the fresh cheese production to help manufacturers prevent the growth of S. aureus and enterotoxin production.


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