Reviews on Food Microbiology, Foodborne Pathogens, and Probiotics

A topical collection in Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This collection belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

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Editor

Topical Collection Information

Dear Colleagues,

In-depth high-level review articles are sought from a well-recognized and well-established research community on topics from state-of-the-art knowledge to new advances and trends, including but not limited to the following:

  • Emerging or neglected foodborne viral, bacterial, and parasitic diseases;
  • Impact of food and food components on pathogen survival, transmission, and pathogenesis;
  • Biofilm formation and the role of small molecules on biofilm formation and inactivation;
  • Foodborne pathogens and microbial ecology in nontraditional protein sources, such as human food;
  • Probiotic microbes and their application in foodborne pathogen prevention, inactivation, and control.

We look forward to receiving your contribution to this Special Issue, which will host review papers providing valuable insights into all aspects of food microbiology, foodborne pathogens, and probiotics.

Prof. Dr. Arun K. Bhunia
Guest Editor

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Keywords

  • food microbiology
  • foodborne pathogens
  • probiotics
  • biofilm
  • microbial ecology

Published Papers (12 papers)

2023

Jump to: 2022, 2021, 2020

15 pages, 319 KiB  
Review
The Use of Predictive Microbiology for the Prediction of the Shelf Life of Food Products
by Fatih Tarlak
Foods 2023, 12(24), 4461; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12244461 - 13 Dec 2023
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 2445
Abstract
Microbial shelf life refers to the duration of time during which a food product remains safe for consumption in terms of its microbiological quality. Predictive microbiology is a field of science that focuses on using mathematical models and computational techniques to predict the [...] Read more.
Microbial shelf life refers to the duration of time during which a food product remains safe for consumption in terms of its microbiological quality. Predictive microbiology is a field of science that focuses on using mathematical models and computational techniques to predict the growth, survival, and behaviour of microorganisms in food and other environments. This approach allows researchers, food producers, and regulatory bodies to assess the potential risks associated with microbial contamination and spoilage, enabling informed decisions to be made regarding food safety, quality, and shelf life. Two-step and one-step modelling approaches are modelling techniques with primary and secondary models being used, while the machine learning approach does not require using primary and secondary models for describing the quantitative behaviour of microorganisms, leading to the spoilage of food products. This comprehensive review delves into the various modelling techniques that have found applications in predictive food microbiology for estimating the shelf life of food products. By examining the strengths, limitations, and implications of the different approaches, this review provides an invaluable resource for researchers and practitioners seeking to enhance the accuracy and reliability of microbial shelf life predictions. Ultimately, a deeper understanding of these techniques promises to advance the domain of predictive food microbiology, fostering improved food safety practices, reduced waste, and heightened consumer confidence. Full article
18 pages, 1509 KiB  
Review
Prevalence and Types of Extended-Spectrum β-Lactamase-Producing Bacteria in Retail Seafood
by Ryan Pearce, Beate Conrady and Luca Guardabassi
Foods 2023, 12(16), 3033; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12163033 - 12 Aug 2023
Viewed by 1099
Abstract
Objectives: To assess prevalence and types of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria in retail seafood. Methods: A literature review was completed according to international guidelines for systematic reviews, except for being performed by a single reviewer. Kruskal–Wallis and Dunn tests were used to determine [...] Read more.
Objectives: To assess prevalence and types of extended-spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria in retail seafood. Methods: A literature review was completed according to international guidelines for systematic reviews, except for being performed by a single reviewer. Kruskal–Wallis and Dunn tests were used to determine statistical differences between continents or seafood types. Results: Among 12,277 hits, 42 publications from 2011 to 2023 were deemed relevant to the review’s objectives. The median prevalence of ESBL-contaminated products was 19.4%. A significantly lower prevalence was observed in Europe (p = 0.006) and Africa (p = 0.004) compared to Asia. Amongst the 2053 isolates analyzed in the selected studies, 44.8% were ESBL-positive. The predominant type was CTX-M (93.6%), followed by TEM (6.7%) and SHV (5.0%). Only 32.6% and 18.5% of the CTX-M-positive isolates were typed to group and gene level, respectively. While group 1 (60.2%) was prevalent over group 9 (39.8%) among Enterobacterales, the opposite trend was observed in Vibrio spp. (60.0% vs. 40.0%). Information at gene level was limited to Enterobacterales, where CTX-M-15 was the most prevalent (79.2%). Conclusions: On average, one in five seafood products sold at retail globally is contaminated with ESBL-producing Enterobacterales of clinical relevance. Our findings highlight a potential risk for consumers of raw seafood, especially in Asia. Full article
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26 pages, 2122 KiB  
Review
Human Salmonellosis: A Continuous Global Threat in the Farm-to-Fork Food Safety Continuum
by Addisu D. Teklemariam, Rashad R. Al-Hindi, Raed S. Albiheyri, Mona G. Alharbi, Mashail A. Alghamdi, Amani A. R. Filimban, Abdullah S. Al Mutiri, Abdullah M. Al-Alyani, Mazen S. Alseghayer, Abdulaziz M. Almaneea, Abdulgader H. Albar, Mohsen A. Khormi and Arun K. Bhunia
Foods 2023, 12(9), 1756; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12091756 - 23 Apr 2023
Cited by 19 | Viewed by 11260
Abstract
Salmonella is one of the most common zoonotic foodborne pathogens and a worldwide public health threat. Salmonella enterica is the most pathogenic among Salmonella species, comprising over 2500 serovars. It causes typhoid fever and gastroenteritis, and the serovars responsible for the later disease [...] Read more.
Salmonella is one of the most common zoonotic foodborne pathogens and a worldwide public health threat. Salmonella enterica is the most pathogenic among Salmonella species, comprising over 2500 serovars. It causes typhoid fever and gastroenteritis, and the serovars responsible for the later disease are known as non-typhoidal Salmonella (NTS). Salmonella transmission to humans happens along the farm-to-fork continuum via contaminated animal- and plant-derived foods, including poultry, eggs, fish, pork, beef, vegetables, fruits, nuts, and flour. Several virulence factors have been recognized to play a vital role in attaching, invading, and evading the host defense system. These factors include capsule, adhesion proteins, flagella, plasmids, and type III secretion systems that are encoded on the Salmonella pathogenicity islands. The increased global prevalence of NTS serovars in recent years indicates that the control approaches centered on alleviating the food animals’ contamination along the food chain have been unsuccessful. Moreover, the emergence of antibiotic-resistant Salmonella variants suggests a potential food safety crisis. This review summarizes the current state of the knowledge on the nomenclature, microbiological features, virulence factors, and the mechanism of antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella. Furthermore, it provides insights into the pathogenesis and epidemiology of Salmonella infections. The recent outbreaks of salmonellosis reported in different clinical settings and geographical regions, including Africa, the Middle East and North Africa, Latin America, Europe, and the USA in the farm-to-fork continuum, are also highlighted. Full article
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15 pages, 1850 KiB  
Systematic Review
The Prevalence and Antibiotic-Resistant of Listeria monocytogenes in Livestock and Poultry Meat in China and the EU from 2001 to 2022: A Systematic Review and Meta-Analysis
by Haoqi Zhang, Xin Luo, Zafeiro Aspridou, Ourania Misiou, Pengcheng Dong and Yimin Zhang
Foods 2023, 12(4), 769; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12040769 - 10 Feb 2023
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 2443
Abstract
To compare the prevalence and antibiotic resistance rate of Listeria monocytogenes in livestock and poultry (beef, pork and chicken) meat between China and the European Union (EU), a meta-analysis was conducted. Ninety-one out of 2156 articles in Chinese and English published between January [...] Read more.
To compare the prevalence and antibiotic resistance rate of Listeria monocytogenes in livestock and poultry (beef, pork and chicken) meat between China and the European Union (EU), a meta-analysis was conducted. Ninety-one out of 2156 articles in Chinese and English published between January 2001 and February 2022 were selected from four databases. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes in livestock and poultry (beef, pork and chicken) meat in China and Europe was 7.1% (3152/56,511, 95% CI: 5.8–8.6%) and 8.3% (2264/889,309, 95% CI: 5.9–11.0%), respectively. Moreover, a decreasing trend was observed in both regions over time. Regarding antibiotic resistance, for the resistance to 15 antibiotics, the pooled prevalence was 5.8% (95% CI: 3.1–9.1%). In both regions, the highest prevalence was found in oxacillin, ceftriaxone and tetracycline, and a large difference was reported between China and the EU in ceftriaxone (52.6% vs. 17.3%) and cefotaxime (7.0% vs. 0.0%). Based on the above, it remains a significant challenge to enforce good control measures against the meat-sourced L. monocytogenes both in China and in the EU. Full article
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2022

Jump to: 2023, 2021, 2020

15 pages, 1747 KiB  
Review
Wake Up! Resuscitation of Viable but Nonculturable Bacteria: Mechanism and Potential Application
by Hanxu Pan and Qing Ren
Foods 2023, 12(1), 82; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods12010082 - 23 Dec 2022
Cited by 10 | Viewed by 4759
Abstract
The viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state is a survival strategy for bacteria when encountered with unfavorable conditions. Under favorable environments such as nutrient supplementation, external stress elimination, or supplementation with resuscitation-promoting substances, bacteria will recover from the VBNC state, which is termed “resuscitation”. [...] Read more.
The viable but nonculturable (VBNC) state is a survival strategy for bacteria when encountered with unfavorable conditions. Under favorable environments such as nutrient supplementation, external stress elimination, or supplementation with resuscitation-promoting substances, bacteria will recover from the VBNC state, which is termed “resuscitation”. The resuscitation phenomenon is necessary for proof of VBNC existence, which has been confirmed in different ways to exclude the possibility of culturable-cell regrowth. The resuscitation of VBNC cells has been widely studied for the purpose of risk control of recovered pathogenic or spoilage bacteria. From another aspect, the resuscitation of functional bacteria can also be considered a promising field to explore. To support this point, the resuscitation mechanisms were comprehensively reviewed, which could provide the theoretical foundations for the application of resuscitated VBNC cells. In addition, the proposed applications, as well as the prospects for further applications of resuscitated VBNC bacteria in the food industry are discussed in this review. Full article
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2021

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2020

27 pages, 2166 KiB  
Review
Bacterial Biofilms and Their Implications in Pathogenesis and Food Safety
by Xingjian Bai, Cindy H. Nakatsu and Arun K. Bhunia
Foods 2021, 10(9), 2117; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10092117 - 8 Sep 2021
Cited by 69 | Viewed by 9502
Abstract
Biofilm formation is an integral part of the microbial life cycle in nature. In food processing environments, bacterial transmissions occur primarily through raw or undercooked foods and by cross-contamination during unsanitary food preparation practices. Foodborne pathogens form biofilms as a survival strategy in [...] Read more.
Biofilm formation is an integral part of the microbial life cycle in nature. In food processing environments, bacterial transmissions occur primarily through raw or undercooked foods and by cross-contamination during unsanitary food preparation practices. Foodborne pathogens form biofilms as a survival strategy in various unfavorable environments, which also become a frequent source of recurrent contamination and outbreaks of foodborne illness. Instead of focusing on bacterial biofilm formation and their pathogenicity individually, this review discusses on a molecular level how these two physiological processes are connected in several common foodborne pathogens such as Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Salmonella enterica and Escherichia coli. In addition, biofilm formation by Pseudomonas aeruginosa is discussed because it aids the persistence of many foodborne pathogens forming polymicrobial biofilms on food contact surfaces, thus significantly elevating food safety and public health concerns. Furthermore, in-depth analyses of several bacterial molecules with dual functions in biofilm formation and pathogenicity are highlighted. Full article
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16 pages, 4965 KiB  
Systematic Review
A Systematic Analysis of Research on Arcobacter: Public Health Implications from a Food–Environment Interphase Perspective
by Chidozie Declan Iwu, Temitope Cyrus Ekundayo and Anthony Ifeanyin Okoh
Foods 2021, 10(7), 1673; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10071673 - 20 Jul 2021
Cited by 9 | Viewed by 3088
Abstract
This review maps the global research landscape of the public health implications of Arcobacter from the food–environment interphase using content analytics and integrated science mapping. The search term “Arcobacter” was used to retrieve relevant articles published in Web of Science and Scopus between [...] Read more.
This review maps the global research landscape of the public health implications of Arcobacter from the food–environment interphase using content analytics and integrated science mapping. The search term “Arcobacter” was used to retrieve relevant articles published in Web of Science and Scopus between 1991 to 2019. The number of articles included in the review was 524, with 1304 authors, 172 journal sources, and a collaborative index of 2.55. The annual growth rate of the publications was 9.74%. The most contributing author in the field was Houf K., with 40 publications, 26 h-index, and 2020 total citations. The most productive country was the USA (13.33%). The majority of the articles were published in English (96%) and in the Journal of Food Protection (8.02%). The highest research outputs were in the field of Microbiology (264). The frequently occurred keywords were Arcobacter, poultry, shellfish, cattle, and chicken. This study revealed a fair increase in the growth rate of Arcobacter-related research—especially in the area of isolation and detection of the pathogen in foods and food environments, as well as the pathogenesis and genetic diversity of the pathogen. Research themes in the area of prevalence and epidemiology seem to be underexplored. Full article
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48 pages, 2941 KiB  
Review
Mycotoxins Affecting Animals, Foods, Humans, and Plants: Types, Occurrence, Toxicities, Action Mechanisms, Prevention, and Detoxification Strategies—A Revisit
by Chinaza Godswill Awuchi, Erick Nyakundi Ondari, Chukwuka U. Ogbonna, Anjani K. Upadhyay, Katarzyna Baran, Charles Odilichukwu R. Okpala, Małgorzata Korzeniowska and Raquel P. F. Guiné
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1279; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061279 - 3 Jun 2021
Cited by 116 | Viewed by 17805
Abstract
Mycotoxins are produced by fungi and are known to be toxic to humans and animals. Common mycotoxins include aflatoxins, ochratoxins, zearalenone, patulin, sterigmatocystin, citrinin, ergot alkaloids, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, trichothecenes, Alternaria toxins, tremorgenic mycotoxins, fusarins, 3-nitropropionic acid, cyclochlorotine, sporidesmin, etc. These mycotoxins can pose [...] Read more.
Mycotoxins are produced by fungi and are known to be toxic to humans and animals. Common mycotoxins include aflatoxins, ochratoxins, zearalenone, patulin, sterigmatocystin, citrinin, ergot alkaloids, deoxynivalenol, fumonisins, trichothecenes, Alternaria toxins, tremorgenic mycotoxins, fusarins, 3-nitropropionic acid, cyclochlorotine, sporidesmin, etc. These mycotoxins can pose several health risks to both animals and humans, including death. As several mycotoxins simultaneously occur in nature, especially in foods and feeds, the detoxification and/or total removal of mycotoxins remains challenging. Moreover, given that the volume of scientific literature regarding mycotoxins is steadily on the rise, there is need for continuous synthesis of the body of knowledge. To supplement existing information, knowledge of mycotoxins affecting animals, foods, humans, and plants, with more focus on types, toxicity, and prevention measures, including strategies employed in detoxification and removal, were revisited in this work. Our synthesis revealed that mycotoxin decontamination, control, and detoxification strategies cut across pre-and post-harvest preventive measures. In particular, pre-harvest measures can include good agricultural practices, fertilization/irrigation, crop rotation, using resistant varieties of crops, avoiding insect damage, early harvesting, maintaining adequate humidity, and removing debris from the preceding harvests. On the other hand, post-harvest measures can include processing, chemical, biological, and physical measures. Additionally, chemical-based methods and other emerging strategies for mycotoxin detoxification can involve the usage of chitosan, ozone, nanoparticles, and plant extracts. Full article
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26 pages, 1079 KiB  
Review
Kefir and Its Biological Activities
by Nor Farahin Azizi, Muganti Rajah Kumar, Swee Keong Yeap, Janna Ong Abdullah, Melati Khalid, Abdul Rahman Omar, Mohd. Azuraidi Osman, Sharifah Alawieyah Syed Mortadza and Noorjahan Banu Alitheen
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1210; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061210 - 27 May 2021
Cited by 75 | Viewed by 25650
Abstract
Kefir is a fermented beverage with renowned probiotics that coexist in symbiotic association with other microorganisms in kefir grains. This beverage consumption is associated with a wide array of nutraceutical benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, and anti-hypercholesterolemic effects. Moreover, kefir [...] Read more.
Kefir is a fermented beverage with renowned probiotics that coexist in symbiotic association with other microorganisms in kefir grains. This beverage consumption is associated with a wide array of nutraceutical benefits, including anti-inflammatory, anti-oxidative, anti-cancer, anti-microbial, anti-diabetic, anti-hypertensive, and anti-hypercholesterolemic effects. Moreover, kefir can be adapted into different substrates which allow the production of new functional beverages to provide product diversification. Being safe and inexpensive, there is an immense global interest in kefir’s nutritional potential. Due to their promising benefits, kefir and kefir-like products have a great prospect for commercialization. This manuscript reviews the therapeutic aspects of kefir to date, and potential applications of kefir products in the health and food industries, along with the limitations. The literature reviewed here demonstrates that there is a growing demand for kefir as a functional food owing to a number of health-promoting properties. Full article
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2020

Jump to: 2023, 2022, 2021

19 pages, 387 KiB  
Review
Potential Risk of Three Zoonotic Protozoa (Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, and Toxoplasma gondii) Transmission from Fish Consumption
by Samantha Moratal, M. Auxiliadora Dea-Ayuela, Jesús Cardells, Naima M. Marco-Hirs, Silvia Puigcercós, Víctor Lizana and Jordi López-Ramon
Foods 2020, 9(12), 1913; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9121913 - 21 Dec 2020
Cited by 16 | Viewed by 5353
Abstract
In recent decades, worldwide fish consumption has increased notably worldwide. Despite the health benefits of fish consumption, it also can suppose a risk because of fishborne diseases, including parasitic infections. Global changes are leading to the emergence of parasites in new locations and [...] Read more.
In recent decades, worldwide fish consumption has increased notably worldwide. Despite the health benefits of fish consumption, it also can suppose a risk because of fishborne diseases, including parasitic infections. Global changes are leading to the emergence of parasites in new locations and to the appearance of new sources of transmission. That is the case of the zoonotic protozoa Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, and Toxoplasma gondii; all of them reach aquatic environments and have been found in shellfish. Similarly, these protozoa can be present in other aquatic animals, such as fish. The present review gives an overview on these three zoonotic protozoa in order to understand their potential presence in fish and to comprehensively revise all the evidences of fish as a new potential source of Cryptosporidium spp., Giardia duodenalis, and Toxoplasma gondii transmission. All of them have been found in both marine and freshwater fishes. Until now, it has not been possible to demonstrate that fish are natural hosts for these protozoa; otherwise, they would merely act as mechanical transporters. Nevertheless, even if fish only accumulate and transport these protozoa, they could be a “new” source of infection for people. Full article
17 pages, 561 KiB  
Review
Cyclospora Cayetanensis—Major Outbreaks from Ready to Eat Fresh Fruits and Vegetables
by Agni Hadjilouka and Dimitris Tsaltas
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1703; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111703 - 20 Nov 2020
Cited by 32 | Viewed by 4746
Abstract
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a coccidian protozoan that causes cyclosporiasis, a severe gastroenteric disease, especially for immunocompromised patients, children, and the elderly. The parasite is considered as an emerging organism and a major contributor of gastroenteritis worldwide. Although the global prevalence of cyclosporiasis morbidity [...] Read more.
Cyclospora cayetanensis is a coccidian protozoan that causes cyclosporiasis, a severe gastroenteric disease, especially for immunocompromised patients, children, and the elderly. The parasite is considered as an emerging organism and a major contributor of gastroenteritis worldwide. Although the global prevalence of cyclosporiasis morbidity and mortality has not been assessed, global concern has arisen since diarrheal illness and gastroenteritis significantly affect both developing countries and industrialized nations. In the last two decades, an increasing number of foodborne outbreaks has been associated with the consumption of fresh produce that is difficult to clean thoroughly and is consumed without processing. Investigations of these outbreaks have revealed the necessity to increase the awareness in clinicians of this infection, since this protozoan is often ignored by surveillance systems, and to establish control measures to reduce contamination of fresh produce. In this review, the major cyclosporiasis outbreaks linked to the consumption of ready to eat fresh fruits and vegetables are presented. Full article
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15 pages, 9321 KiB  
Review
Effects of Probiotic Supplementation on Dyslipidemia in Type 2 Diabetes Mellitus: A Meta-Analysis of Randomized Controlled Trials
by Chen Wang, Chengcheng Zhang, Sijia Li, Leilei Yu, Fengwei Tian, Jianxin Zhao, Hao Zhang, Wei Chen and Qixiao Zhai
Foods 2020, 9(11), 1540; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods9111540 - 26 Oct 2020
Cited by 30 | Viewed by 3183
Abstract
The effectiveness of probiotic consumption in controlling dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been unclear. We reviewed relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to clarify the effect of probiotic intake on dyslipidemia in T2DM patients. The Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed and [...] Read more.
The effectiveness of probiotic consumption in controlling dyslipidemia in type 2 diabetes mellitus (T2DM) has been unclear. We reviewed relevant randomized controlled trials (RCTs) to clarify the effect of probiotic intake on dyslipidemia in T2DM patients. The Web of Science, Scopus, PubMed and Cochrane Library databases were used for searching relevant RCTs published up to October 2020. The total cholesterol (TC), triglyceride (TG), low-density lipoprotein cholesterol (LDL-C) and high-density lipoprotein cholesterol (HDL-C) concentrations were selected as the primary indicators for dyslipidemia. The results of 13 eligible RCTs showed that probiotic intake could significantly reduce TC (SMD: −0.23, 95% CI: (−0.37, −0.10)) and TG (SMD: −0.27, 95% CI: (−0.44, −0.11)) levels, but did not regulate LDL-C or HDL-C concentrations. Subgroup analysis showed that multispecies probiotics (≥two species), but not single-species probiotics, significantly decreased TC and TG concentrations. Furthermore, powder, but not liquid, probiotics could reduce TC and TG concentrations. This meta-analysis demonstrated that probiotic supplementation is helpful in reducing TC and TG concentrations in T2DM patients. However, more well-controlled trials are needed to clarify the benefits of probiotics on dyslipidemia in T2DM patients. Full article
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