Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria

A special issue of Applied Sciences (ISSN 2076-3417). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Science and Technology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (10 December 2023) | Viewed by 11293

Special Issue Editors

Microbiology Laboratory, Athens Analysis Laboratories S.A., 14452 Metamorfosi, Attica, Greece
Interests: food microbiology; food hygiene; food safety; foodborne pathogens; culture-dependent methods; listeria detection; campylobacter detection; antimicrobials
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Emmanouil N. Velonakis
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Microbiology Laboratory, Eurofins Athens Analysis Laboratories S.A., GR-14452 Metamorfosi, Attica, Greece
Interests: water microbiology; water hygiene; waterborne pathogens; legionella spp.; water safety plans; food microbiology
Microbiology Laboratory, Eurofins Athens Analysis Laboratories S.A., GR-14452 Metamorfosi, Attica, Greece
Interests: food microbiology; food safety; food technology; food processing; antimicrobial resistance; water microbiology; waterborne pathogens; legionella spp.

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Foodborne and waterborne bacterial pathogens represent significant health hazards that can occur under certain conditions after the consumption of food or water, resulting in the development of diseases through the manifestation of clinical symptoms in humans or, in some cases, death. Thus, the detection and control of these pathogens is of utmost importance for the food industry and the public health sector.

This Special Issue of Applied Sciences is dedicated to the efforts of research agencies and academia to monitor the presence of pathogenic bacteria in food and water by applying culture-dependent and molecular (i.e., culture independent) microbiological methods and techniques, while also trying to control their presence in food commodities by utilizing effective intervention strategies (e.g., modified atmosphere packaging, antimicrobials, sanitation treatments). All articles dealing with different aspects of the aforementioned topics of interest, which are relevant to the detection and control of pathogenic bacteria found in food and water, are more than welcome to be considered for publication in the present Special Issue.

Dr. Nikolaos D. Andritsos
Dr. Emmanouil N. Velonakis
Dr. Galatios D. Moschonas
Guest Editors

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Keywords

  • bacterial pathogens
  • culture-dependent detection methods
  • molecular identification methods
  • food control
  • water microbiology

Published Papers (8 papers)

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Research

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13 pages, 1177 KiB  
Article
Distinctive Culture Expressions of Enterobacteria Interfering with Isolation of Salmonella spp. during the Application of the Recommended ISO 6579-1:2017
Appl. Sci. 2024, 14(3), 953; https://doi.org/10.3390/app14030953 - 23 Jan 2024
Viewed by 514
Abstract
The objective of the present report is the dissemination of information acquired during the application of ISO 6579-1:2017 for the isolation of Salmonella spp. from swine samples. ISO 6579-1:2017 is the protocol officially recommended by the EU for the isolation of Salmonella spp., [...] Read more.
The objective of the present report is the dissemination of information acquired during the application of ISO 6579-1:2017 for the isolation of Salmonella spp. from swine samples. ISO 6579-1:2017 is the protocol officially recommended by the EU for the isolation of Salmonella spp., aiming for the harmonization of effective control of Salmonella infection in food-producing animals. Successful control of animal salmonellosis is highly dependent on the sensitivity and reliability of the biochemical methods used to detect the presence of the pathogen in various stages of food production. Application of ISO 6579-1:2017 resulted in the isolation of twelve Salmonella spp. and eighteen other members of the family of Enterobacteriaceae biochemically and other bacteria antigenically resembling salmonellae. An evaluation of the culture media was conducted, including xylose-lysine-desoxycholate agar (XLD), Salmonella–Shigella Agar (SS), Brilliant Green Agar (BGA), Salmonella Chromogenic Agar (SCA), Triple Sugar Iron (TSI), and modified semi-solid Rappaport–Vassiliadis (MSRV) agar. The evaluation showed that these culture-selective media differed significantly in their performance for the isolation of Salmonella from swine samples. It was concluded that the presence of atypical Salmonella strains negatively affects the prevalence of Salmonella, thus affecting the identification of carrier pigs and eventually affecting the efficiency of control programs. Thus, doubtful results require additional biochemical testing to confirm the accuracy of such universally recommended isolation methods. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
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8 pages, 202 KiB  
Communication
Investigating the Spread of Antimicrobial Drug-Resistant Microorganisms in Dairy Sheep Farms: A Follow-Up Study
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(14), 8165; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13148165 - 13 Jul 2023
Viewed by 570
Abstract
Recently, we investigated the spread of antimicrobial drug-resistant (AMR) microorganisms in five dairy sheep farms in Greece to identify indicators for improved field surveillance. The high percentage of samples of feeds and milk positive to Escherichia coli and Staphylococci, including AMR isolates, [...] Read more.
Recently, we investigated the spread of antimicrobial drug-resistant (AMR) microorganisms in five dairy sheep farms in Greece to identify indicators for improved field surveillance. The high percentage of samples of feeds and milk positive to Escherichia coli and Staphylococci, including AMR isolates, recorded in this previous study generated the interest to further investigate the parameters likely to affect positivity of these certain indicators in the same farms. For this reason, 76 samples were collected, comprising milk collected from the raw milk tank (n = 5), swabs from milking shells (n = 48), feeds (n = 6), and home-grown feeds (n = 17). Samples were processed for the detection of the pathogens mentioned above and the assessment of AMR using conventional microbiology and the polymerase chain reaction. The overall percentage of positive samples was 71.1%. The percentage of isolates that were characterised as AMR of those detected was 27.8% (30% Staphylococci, 21.4% E. coli). The results indicate that AMR testing in milking shell swabs is advisable for improving AMR stewardship and should be regarded as complimentary to testing samples from the raw milk tank, because these may not depict the microbial burden of milking shells. Furthermore, the spread and antimicrobial resistance of tested bacteria in feeds are characterised by considerable variability and should therefore be assessed longitudinally. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
16 pages, 3342 KiB  
Article
Whole-Genome Sequencing and Comparative Genomic Analysis of Enterococcus spp. Isolated from Dairy Products: Genomic Diversity, Functional Characteristics, and Pathogenic Potential
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(19), 9620; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12199620 - 25 Sep 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1445
Abstract
Enterococci are commensal organisms that have probiotic effects for their hosts and can be used as adjunct cultures in fermented dairy products. The dark side of Enterococci is manifested in E. faecium and E. faecalis, which are the causative agents of nosocomial [...] Read more.
Enterococci are commensal organisms that have probiotic effects for their hosts and can be used as adjunct cultures in fermented dairy products. The dark side of Enterococci is manifested in E. faecium and E. faecalis, which are the causative agents of nosocomial infections, and thus Enterococci have not been granted a safety status as food additives. In this context, we aimed to assess the safety and functional profile of an Enterococci collection retrieved from traditional dairy products through a high-resolution genomic characterization and comparative genomic analysis. Analysis did not reveal major differences in the main cellular processes of Enterococci. Moreover, a diverse repertoire of resistance and virulence genes was present, though known hallmark pathogenicity factors were either absent or occurred rarely. The abundance of bacteriocins and CRISPR/Cas systems suggested the ability of the isolates to suppress pathogens and evade bacteriophages, respectively. Presence–absence patterns of genes suggested that dairy-originated E. faecium are not associated with pathogenicity factors, while those of human origin are strongly linked with notorious resistance and virulence determinants. Our comparative analysis provided some notable insights regarding the genomic composition of Enterococci in the context of their origin. However, their pathogenic lifestyle is likely to be explained by the interplay of multiple genomic factors. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
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11 pages, 2044 KiB  
Article
Rapid-Response Magnetic Enrichment Strategy for Significantly Improving Sensitivity of Multiplex PCR Analysis of Pathogenic Listeria Species
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(13), 6415; https://doi.org/10.3390/app12136415 - 24 Jun 2022
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1472
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii are important pathogenic Listeria spp. that cause infections in humans and animals. Establishing a rapid and sensitive method for the simultaneous screening of pathogenic Listeria spp. is of great significance for ensuring food safety. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii are important pathogenic Listeria spp. that cause infections in humans and animals. Establishing a rapid and sensitive method for the simultaneous screening of pathogenic Listeria spp. is of great significance for ensuring food safety. Multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR) has been extensively reported to simultaneously detect several pathogens in food with high sensitivity, but a time-consuming pre-enrichment process is necessary. In this study, we report the usage of surface-modified polyethyleneimine-coated positively charged magnetic nanoparticles (PEI-MNPs) for rapid enrichment of pathogenic Listeria spp. through electrostatic interactions. The enrichment process takes only 10 min with high capture efficiency (more than 70%) at a wide pH range and ionic strength. Combined with mPCR analysis, the PEI-MNPs-mPCR strategy can simultaneously, rapidly, and sensitively detect pathogenic Listeria spp. without a time-consuming pre-concentration process. Under the optimal conditions, the detection limits of L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii in lettuce were both as low as 101 CFU/mL, which was a hundred times lower than that without magnetic enrichment. In conclusion, the magnetic enrichment strategy based on charge interaction combined with mPCR analysis has great application potential in shortening the pre-concentration time of foodborne pathogens and improving the detection sensitivity. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
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10 pages, 840 KiB  
Communication
Listeria monocytogenes Serogroup 1/2 Strains Have a Competitive Growth Advantage over Serotype 4b during Refrigerated Storage of an Artificially Contaminated Ready-To-Eat Pork Meat Product
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 6096; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11136096 - 30 Jun 2021
Cited by 6 | Viewed by 1615
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is the bacterial causative agent of listeriosis, a life-threatening disease for humans, mainly transmitted through contaminated food. Human clinical isolates of the pathogen are frequently identified as serotype 4b strains; interestingly, however, serotype 4b (lineage I) is normally underrepresented among the [...] Read more.
Listeria monocytogenes is the bacterial causative agent of listeriosis, a life-threatening disease for humans, mainly transmitted through contaminated food. Human clinical isolates of the pathogen are frequently identified as serotype 4b strains; interestingly, however, serotype 4b (lineage I) is normally underrepresented among the food isolates in which serotype 1/2a (lineage II) is usually prevalent. The present study aimed to assess in situ dominance dynamics for the most commonly detected serotypes of L. monocytogenes implicated in foodborne listeriosis cases. A four-strain mixture comprised of L. monocytogenes serogroup 1/2 (i.e., serotypes 1/2a, 1/2b, and 1/2c) and serotype 4b food isolates was inoculated on a sliced ready-to-eat pork meat product, and dominance rates for the pathogenic strains were estimated based on serotype recoveries by utilizing multiplex polymerase chain reaction (mPCR), during storage of the product at 4 °C and 10 °C. The cumulative mPCR results showed that serotype 4b decreased at both storage temperatures, with the most abrupt decrease being noticed during storage at 10 °C. Irrespective of the storage temperature applied, L. monocytogenes strains of serogroup 1/2 predominated at the end of the meat product’s storage period. Conclusively, the preliminary findings of this research suggested a competitive growth advantage of L. monocytogenes serogroup 1/2 strains over serotype 4b during the refrigerated shelf-life of foods, thus advancing our knowledge on the pathogen’s behavior and contributing toward elucidating the manifested underrepresentation of serotype 4b in favor of serogroup 1/2 strains among the food isolates of the pathogen, particularly those recovered during detection and/or enumeration of L. monocytogenes in meat and products thereof. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
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15 pages, 2508 KiB  
Article
Transcription of Listeria monocytogenes Key Virulence Genes on Tomato, Cucumber and Carrot
Appl. Sci. 2021, 11(13), 5983; https://doi.org/10.3390/app11135983 - 27 Jun 2021
Viewed by 1263
Abstract
The aim of the present study was to assess the transcription of Listeria monocytogenes key virulence genes, namely sigB, prfA, hly, plcA, plcB, inlA, inlB, inlC and inlJ during subsistence on the surface of tomato, cucumber [...] Read more.
The aim of the present study was to assess the transcription of Listeria monocytogenes key virulence genes, namely sigB, prfA, hly, plcA, plcB, inlA, inlB, inlC and inlJ during subsistence on the surface of tomato, cucumber and carrot stored at 4, 10 and 30 °C for 0, 0.5, 6 and 24 h. Gene relative transcription was assessed through reverse transcription-quantitative polymerase chain reaction (RT-qPCR). The results obtained, indicated that the relative transcription of plcA, plcB and inlB was more affected during subsistence on cucumber surface whereas the relative transcription of sigB, prfA, hly, inlA and inlC was more affected on tomato surface. Subsistence of the pathogen on carrot surface had only marginal effect on the relative transcription of the virulence genes assessed in the present study. In the majority of the cases, the aforementioned effects were dependent on the storage temperature employed. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
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Review

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16 pages, 904 KiB  
Review
Prevalence and Distribution of Thermotolerant Campylobacter Species in Poultry: A Comprehensive Review with a Focus on the Factors Affecting the Detection and Enumeration of Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli in Chicken Meat
Appl. Sci. 2023, 13(14), 8079; https://doi.org/10.3390/app13148079 - 11 Jul 2023
Viewed by 1086
Abstract
It is well known that the strong-evidence foodborne outbreaks of human campylobacteriosis are associated with the consumption of raw or incompletely thermally processed poultry meat, whereas broilers act as the main reservoir for Campylobacter species. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the two [...] Read more.
It is well known that the strong-evidence foodborne outbreaks of human campylobacteriosis are associated with the consumption of raw or incompletely thermally processed poultry meat, whereas broilers act as the main reservoir for Campylobacter species. Campylobacter jejuni and Campylobacter coli are the two main species of campylobacters detected in chicken meat, while they account for almost 90% of the reported cases of campylobacteriosis in humans. Over 80% of these cases are attributed to C. jejuni and about 10% of them are due to C. coli. Therefore, until recently the dominance of C. jejuni against all other Campylobacter spp. isolated from chicken meat samples was well-established and unquestionable. Lately, however, C. coli has been increasingly recovered from chicken meat to such an extent that it is now evident that it often comprises the dominant species among the identified campylobacters in the meat samples. This work attempts for the first time a detailed review of the literature to deepen into this noteworthy epidemiological swift in the prevalence of C. jejuni and C. coli, along with the distribution of Campylobacter spp. in chicken meat. Factors such as the sampling method followed for screening campylobacters in broiler carcasses (e.g., swabs or carcass rinsates, skinned or skinless meat excised samples) and part of the animal carcass from which the sample is obtained (e.g., neck, breast, leg), seasonality of sampling (summer vs. winter) and environmental conditions (e.g., rainfall, relative humidity) at the farm level, the isolation procedure (enumeration or detection) and pathogen identification (biochemical or molecular), the enrichment and plating isolation media (e.g., Bolton vs. Preston broth, charcoal-based vs. chromogenic agars), as well as the biofilm-forming ability of different campylobacters, highlight the multivariate dimension of the phenomenon and are thoroughly discussed in the present review. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
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18 pages, 336 KiB  
Review
Marination as a Hurdle to Microbial Pathogens and Spoilers in Poultry Meat Products: A Brief Review
Appl. Sci. 2022, 12(22), 11774; https://doi.org/10.3390/app122211774 - 19 Nov 2022
Cited by 3 | Viewed by 1704
Abstract
Poultry meat, due to its low price and nutritional value, is a healthy and easily accessible option for many households worldwide. Poultry consumption is, therefore, expected to continue to grow. However, this increase may lead to the rising numbers of cases of bacterial [...] Read more.
Poultry meat, due to its low price and nutritional value, is a healthy and easily accessible option for many households worldwide. Poultry consumption is, therefore, expected to continue to grow. However, this increase may lead to the rising numbers of cases of bacterial gastroenteritis, as poultry meat often carries foodborne pathogens such as Campylobacter spp. and Salmonella spp. While the current on-farm biosecurity programs and food safety management systems implemented by the poultry industry are intended to mitigate the presence of these pathogens, some find their way to the retail level, posing a risk to the consumer. A safeguard for the consumer could potentially result from meat marination. However, the current marinated meat products sold on the market aim to extend the shelf life and overall taste and tenderness of the meat rather than its safety. Marination could be optimised not only to reduce any foodborne pathogen present in the meat but also to increase the shelf life reducing waste at the retail level. Formulations composed of various ingredients with different active principles may be used to achieve this objective. Wines present a superb component for marinades. Due to their complex nature, wines possess organic acids, phenolic compounds, and ethanol, all of which own significant antimicrobial potential. Essential oils may be another option. By combining different active principles in a marinade, we could potentially reduce the concentrations of the overall bactericidal ingredients. The objective of this review was to analyse the recent studies in this field and try to understand the best options for developing a convenient, natural-based bactericidal marinade. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Detection and Control of Foodborne and Waterborne Pathogenic Bacteria)
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