Ashtown Food Research Center

Dublin, Ireland

Ashtown Food Research Center

Dublin, Ireland
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Bolton D.J.,Ashtown Food Research Center | O'Neill C.J.,Ashtown Food Research Center | O'Neill C.J.,University College Dublin | Fanning S.,University College Dublin
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2012

The aims of this study were to investigate the incidence of Salmonella, verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC)/Escherichia coli O157 and Campylobacter on four mixed farms and to characterize the isolates in terms of a range of virulence factors. Eighty-nine composite (five different samples from the same animal species combined) faecal [cattle (24), pigs (14), sheep (4), poultry (4), horses (7), deer (4), dogs (9), rodents (2) and wild birds (20)] samples, 16 composite soil samples plus 35 individual water samples were screened using culture-based, immunomagnetic separation and molecular methods. Salmonella was detected in bovine faeces, cattle and poultry house water. Salmonella serotypes/phage types included Dublin, Kiel and Typhimurium DT193, and most isolates were spvC, invA and rck positive. The pefA and rck genes were found exclusively in the non-Typhimurium strains, while Salmonella Dublin and Salmonella Kiel strains carried Salmonella genomic island I marker(s). VTEC/E. coli O157 were found in deer and dog faeces only. The E. coli O157 isolate was an enteroinvasive E. coli, while the VTEC isolate was untypable but carried the vt1, eaeA, hlyA, tir and eptD genes. This article reports the first confirmed carriage of E. coli O157 in Irish deer. Campylobacter species were not detected over the course of this study. It was concluded that [1] Salmonella, VTEC and Campylobacter have low (<5%) prevalence or are absent on the farms in this study; [2] water was an important source of bacterial pathogens; [3] both dogs and deer may act as a source of pathogenic E. coli and [4] key virulence and resistance determinants are widespread in farm Salmonella strains. This study highlights the need to control water as a source of pathogens and suggests that the domestic pets and deer should be considered in any farm risk assessment. © 2011 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.


Toomey N.,Ashtown Food Research Center | Bolton D.,Ashtown Food Research Center | Fanning S.,University College Dublin
Research in Microbiology | Year: 2010

Lactic acid bacteria isolated from Irish pork and beef abattoirs were analysed for their susceptibility to antimicrobials. Thirty-seven isolates (12 enterococci, 10 lactobacilli, 8 streptococci, 3 lactococci, 2 Leuconostoc, and 2 pediococci) were examined for phenotypic resistance using the E-test and their minimum inhibitory concentration to a panel of six antibiotics (ampicillin, chloramphenicol, erythromycin, streptomycin, tetracycline, and vancomycin) was recorded. The corresponding genetic determinants responsible were characterised by PCR. Also, the transferability of these resistance markers was assessed in filter mating assays. Of the 37 isolates, 33 were found to be resistant to one or more antibiotics. All strains were susceptible to ampicillin and chloramphenicol. The erm(B) and msrA/B genes were detected among the 11 erythromycin-resistant strains of enterococci, lactobacilli, and streptococci. Two tetracycline-resistant strains, Lactobacillus plantarum and Leuconostoc mesenteroides spp., contained tet(M) and tet(S) genes respectively. Intrinsic streptomycin resistance was observed in lactobacilli, streptococci, lactococci and Leuconostoc species; none of the common genetic determinants (strA, strB, aadA, aadE) were identified. Four of 10 strains of Enterococcus faecium were resistant to vancomycin; however, no corresponding genetic determinants for this phenotype were identified. Enterococcus faecalis strains were susceptible to vancomycin. L. plantarum, L. mesenteroides and Pediococcus pentosaceus were intrinsically resistant to vancomycin. Transfer of antibiotic resistance determinants was demonstrated in one strain, wherein the tet(M) gene of L. plantarum (23) isolated from a pork abattoir was transferred to Lactococcus lactis BU-2-60 and to E. faecalis JH2-2. This study identified the presence of antibiotic resistance markers in Irish meat isolates and, in one example, resistance was conjugally transferred to other LAB strains. © 2010 Elsevier Masson SAS.


Wasilewski P.D.,University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz | Nowachowicz J.,University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz | Michalska G.,University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz | Bucek T.,University of Technology and Life Sciences in Bydgoszcz | And 2 more authors.
Archiv fur Tierzucht | Year: 2011

The aim of the paper was to investigate the impact of feeding pigs with different levels of conjugated linoleic acid or sunflower oil on fatty acid profile of Longissimus dorsi muscle. The subjects of research were 60 crossbred gilts divided into 6 groups, fed with different levels of conjugated linoleic acid (CLA) or sunflower oil (SFO) (0.5; 1.0 and 2.0 %, respectively). All fatteners were kept and fed under standardized conditions. Animals were slaughtered at 95 kg of body weight. Fatty acid profile was determined in samples of Longissimus dorsi muscle from each animal. Gas chromatography was used (in the research). The significance of differences between groups was verified by Duncan's test. In the present study the addition of conjugated linoleic acid or sunflower oil did not impact the composition and amounts of saturated or unsaturated fatty acids in Longissimus dorsi muscle. © Leibniz Institute for Farm Animal Biology, Dummerstorf, Germany.


Crowley K.M.,Ashtown Food Research Center | Crowley K.M.,University of Ulster | Prendergast D.M.,Ashtown Food Research Center | Sheridan J.J.,Ashtown Food Research Center | And 2 more authors.
Meat Science | Year: 2010

The influence of a commercial chilling process (18h at 10°C followed by up to 78h at 2°C) on Pseudomonas fluorescens inoculated on beef carcass surfaces at four sites, neck (NE), outside round (OR), brisket (BR) and foreshank/brisket (FB) before chilling (" hot inoculated" ) or after chilling for 24h (" cold inoculated" ) was investigated. Pseudomonas counts increased significantly at all sites on " hot inoculated" carcasses during storage, but on " cold inoculated" carcasses, counts declined or remained unchanged. On hot and cold inoculated carcasses, differences in Pseudomonas growth or survival were demonstrated between sites. No clear relationships were observed between Pseudomonas growth or survival and chiller relative humidity (RH) or surface water activity (aw) at the different sites. These results were unexpected, and are discussed in relation to environmental factors that affect the growth/survival of P. fluorescens on carcass surfaces during chilling i.e. temperature, RH, and the relationship of these parameters to surface water activity (aw). © 2010 Elsevier Ltd.


PubMed | University College Dublin, Teagasc and Ashtown Food Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: BMC genomics | Year: 2016

Differences between cattle production systems can influence the nutritional and sensory characteristics of beef, in particular its fatty acid (FA) composition. As beef products derived from pasture-based systems can demand a higher premium from consumers, there is a need to understand the biological characteristics of pasture produced meat and subsequently to develop methods of authentication for these products. Here, we describe an approach to authentication that focuses on differences in the transcriptomic profile of muscle from animals finished in different systems of production of practical relevance to the Irish beef industry. The objectives of this study were to identify a panel of differentially expressed (DE) genes/networks in the muscle of cattle raised outdoors on pasture compared to animals raised indoors on a concentrate based diet and to subsequently identify an optimum panel which can classify the meat based on a production system.A comparison of the muscle transcriptome of outdoor/pasture-fed and Indoor/concentrate-fed cattle resulted in the identification of 26 DE genes. Functional analysis of these genes identified two significant networks (1: Energy Production, Lipid Metabolism, Small Molecule Biochemistry; and 2: Lipid Metabolism, Molecular Transport, Small Molecule Biochemistry), both of which are involved in FA metabolism. The expression of selected up-regulated genes in the outdoor/pasture-fed animals correlated positively with the total n-3 FA content of the muscle. The pathway and network analysis of the DE genes indicate that peroxisome proliferator-activated receptor (PPAR) and FYN/AMPK could be implicit in the regulation of these alterations to the lipid profile. In terms of authentication, the expression profile of three DE genes (ALAD, EIF4EBP1 and NPNT) could almost completely separate the samples based on production system (95% authentication for animals on pasture-based and 100% for animals on concentrate- based diet) in this context.The majority of DE genes between muscle of the outdoor/pasture-fed and concentrate-fed cattle were related to lipid metabolism and in particular -oxidation. In this experiment the combined expression profiles of ALAD, EIF4EBP1 and NPNT were optimal in classifying the muscle transcriptome based on production system. Given the overall lack of comparable studies and variable concordance with those that do exist, the use of transcriptomic data in authenticating production systems requires more exploration across a range of contexts and breeds.


Mooney A.,Dublin City University | Corry A.J.,Dublin City University | Ruairc C.N.,Dublin City University | Mahgoub T.,Dublin City University | And 8 more authors.
Dalton Transactions | Year: 2010

A series of N-(ferrocenyl)naphthoyl amino acid esters 5-18 has been prepared by coupling ferrocenyl naphthoic acids 3-4 to α-amino acids and linear amino acids in the presence of N-(3-dimethylaminopropyl)-N′- ethylcarbodiimide hydrochloride (EDC) and 1-hydroxybenzotriazole (HOBt). The compounds were fully characterised by a range of NMR spectroscopic techniques, UV-Vis spectroscopy, mass spectrometry and cyclic voltammetry. X-ray crystallographic studies of the intermediate compounds 1-2 were also performed. Biological evaluation of the intermediates 1-2 and N-(ferrocenyl)naphthoyl amino acid esters 5-18 was performed in the H1299 non-small cell lung cancer (NSCLC) cell line and the Sk-Mel-28 metastatic melanoma cell line. The intermediates 1-2 failed to produce an effect in either cell line. Compounds 5-18 exhibited a strong anti-proliferative effect in the H1299 cell line, whilst the Sk-Mel-28 cells were slightly more resistant to these compounds. N-(6-ferrocenyl-2- naphthoyl)-γ-aminobutyric acid ethyl ester 17 shows a particularly high activity in both the H1299 cell line (IC50 = 0.62 ± 0.07 μM) and the Sk-Mel-28 cell line (IC50 = 1.41 ± 0.04 μM). © 2010 The Royal Society of Chemistry.


Fitzgerald J.,Dublin City University | Leonard P.,Dublin City University | Danaher M.,Ashtown Food Research Center | O'Kennedy R.,Dublin City University
Applied Biochemistry and Biotechnology | Year: 2015

This research describes the development of a multi-analyte lateral-flow immunoassay intended for the simultaneous detection of three anti-protozoan drugs (coccidiostats). These drugs, namely, halofuginone, toltrazuril and diclazuril, are used in the treatment of Eimeria spp. infections in cattle, pigs, chickens and turkeys. Coloured carboxylated microspheres were coated with each of the detection antibodies and employed in a lateral-flow assay format for detection of these residues in eggs. Using this approach, halofuginone was detectable at a limit of 10 ng/mL or greater, toltrazuril at 100 ng/mL and, similarly, diclazuril had a detection limit of 100 ng/mL, which is below the maximum allowed residue limit for all three as outlined by EU regulation. This simple cost-efficient assay and analysis method could pave the way for more efficient simultaneous monitoring of small-molecule residues in the future. © 2015, Springer Science+Business Media New York.


Fitzgerald J.,Dublin City University | Leonard P.,Dublin City University | Darcy E.,Dublin City University | Danaher M.,Ashtown Food Research Center | O'Kennedy R.,Dublin City University
Analytical Biochemistry | Year: 2011

Halofuginone is an antiprotozoal drug used in the treatment of coccidiosis in poultry, a contagious enteric disease caused by parasites of the Eimeria spp. To ensure that food is free from any halofuginone residues and safe for human consumption, a rapid method to detect these residues below the maximum residue limits (MRLs) in a variety of matrices is necessary. To address this need, we constructed an immune single-chain variable fragment (scFv) library from the RNA of a halofuginone-immunized chicken and selected halofuginone-specific scFv by phage display. The best clone isolated from the library had a limit of detection of 30 ng/ml as determined by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA). However, the minimum MRL for halofuginone in certain foodstuffs can be as low as 1 ng/ml, well below the sensitivity of the selected antibody. The selected antibody was then affinity maturated by light-chain shuffling to further improve the antibody's assay performance. The halofuginone-specific heavy-chain pool of the biopanned library was assembled with the light-chain repertoire amplified from the original prepanned library. This resulted in a heavy-chain-biased library from which an scFv with the potential to detect halofuginone residues as low as 80 pg/ml was isolated, a 185-fold improvement over the original scFv. This new chain-shuffled scFv was incorporated into a validated ELISA (according to Commission Regulation 2002/657/EC) for the sensitive detection of halofuginone in spiked processed egg samples. © 2010 Elsevier Inc. All rights reserved.


Wijngaard H.H.,Ashtown Food Research Center | Ballay M.,British Petroleum | Brunton N.,Ashtown Food Research Center
Food Chemistry | Year: 2012

Response Surface Methodology was used to optimise the solid-liquid extraction and Pressurised Liquid Extraction of polyphenols from industrially generated potato peel. Efficiency of extraction was optimised by measuring antioxidant activity, phenol content and the level of caffeic acid. Conditions for optimal antioxidant activity as measured by the 2,2-diphenyl-1- picrylhydrazyl (DPPH) assay were 75% ethanol, 80°C and 22 min with solid-liquid extraction, resulting in an optimum activity of 352 mg Trolox Equivalents/100 g DW potato peel. In comparison, the use of Pressurised Liquid Extraction resulted in an optimum activity of 339 mg Trolox Equivalents/100 g DW potato peel at 70% ethanol and 125°C. Therefore the use of Pressurised Liquid Extraction did not enhance extraction in comparison to solid-liquid extracts, but using aqueous ethanol as extraction solvent recovered a higher level of polyphenols than when using 100% methanol.


PubMed | Ashtown Food Research Center
Type: Journal Article | Journal: Zoonoses and public health | Year: 2012

The aims of this study were to investigate the incidence of Salmonella, verocytotoxigenic Escherichia coli (VTEC)/Escherichia coli O157 and Campylobacter on four mixed farms and to characterize the isolates in terms of a range of virulence factors. Eighty-nine composite (five different samples from the same animal species combined) faecal [cattle (24), pigs (14), sheep (4), poultry (4), horses (7), deer (4), dogs (9), rodents (2) and wild birds (20)] samples, 16 composite soil samples plus 35 individual water samples were screened using culture-based, immunomagnetic separation and molecular methods. Salmonella was detected in bovine faeces, cattle and poultry house water. Salmonella serotypes/phage types included Dublin, Kiel and Typhimurium DT193, and most isolates were spvC, invA and rck positive. The pefA and rck genes were found exclusively in the non-Typhimurium strains, while Salmonella Dublin and Salmonella Kiel strains carried Salmonella genomic island I marker(s). VTEC/E. coli O157 were found in deer and dog faeces only. The E. coli O157 isolate was an enteroinvasive E. coli, while the VTEC isolate was untypable but carried the vt1, eaeA, hlyA, tir and eptD genes. This article reports the first confirmed carriage of E. coli O157 in Irish deer. Campylobacter species were not detected over the course of this study. It was concluded that [1] Salmonella, VTEC and Campylobacter have low (<5%) prevalence or are absent on the farms in this study; [2] water was an important source of bacterial pathogens; [3] both dogs and deer may act as a source of pathogenic E. coli and [4] key virulence and resistance determinants are widespread in farm Salmonella strains. This study highlights the need to control water as a source of pathogens and suggests that the domestic pets and deer should be considered in any farm risk assessment.

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