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Tryland M.,Section for Arctic Veterinary Medicine | Nesbakken T.,Section for Food Safety | Robertson L.,Section for Microbiology | Grahek-Ogden D.,Norwegian Scientific Committee for Food Safety | Lunestad B.T.,National Institute of Nutrition And Seafood Research
Zoonoses and Public Health | Year: 2014

Only a few countries worldwide hunt seals and whales commercially. In Norway, hooded and harp seals and minke whales are commercially harvested, and coastal seals (harbour and grey seals) are hunted as game. Marine mammal meat is sold to the public and thus included in general microbiological meat control regulations. Slaughtering and dressing of marine mammals are performed in the open air on deck, and many factors on board sealing or whaling vessels may affect meat quality, such as the ice used for cooling whale meat and the seawater used for cleaning, storage of whale meat in the open air until ambient temperature is reached, and the hygienic conditions of equipment, decks, and other surfaces. Based on existing reports, it appears that meat of seal and whale does not usually represent a microbiological hazard to consumers in Norway, because human disease has not been associated with consumption of such foods. However, as hygienic control on marine mammal meat is ad hoc, mainly based on spot-testing, and addresses very few human pathogens, this conclusion may be premature. Additionally, few data from surveys or systematic quality control screenings have been published. This review examines the occurrence of potential human pathogens in marine mammals, as well as critical points for contamination of meat during the slaughter, dressing, cooling, storage and processing of meat. Some zoonotic agents are of particular relevance as foodborne pathogens, such as Trichinella spp., Toxoplasma gondii, Salmonella and Leptospira spp. In addition, Mycoplasma spp. parapoxvirus and Mycobacterium spp. constitute occupational risks during handling of marine mammals and marine mammal products. Adequate training in hygienic procedures is necessary to minimize the risk of contamination on board, and acquiring further data is essential for obtaining a realistic assessment of the microbiological risk to humans from consuming marine mammal meat. © 2013 Blackwell Verlag GmbH.

Lovdal I.S.,Nofima AS | Lovdal I.S.,University of Stavanger | From C.,Section for Food Safety | Madslien E.H.,Section for Food Safety | And 5 more authors.
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2012

Background: The genome of Bacillus licheniformis DSM 13 harbours three neighbouring open reading frames showing protein sequence similarities to the proteins encoded from the Bacillus subtilis subsp. subtilis 168 gerA operon, GerAA, GerAB and GerAC. In B. subtilis, these proteins are assumed to form a germinant receptor involved in spore germination induced by the amino acid L-alanine. Results: In this study we show that disruption of the gerAA gene in B. licheniformis MW3 hamper L-alanine and casein hydrolysate-triggered spore germination, measured by absorbance at 600 nm and confirmed by phase contrast microscopy. This ability was restored by complementation with a plasmid-borne copy of the gerA locus. Addition of D-alanine in the casein hydrolysate germination assay abolished germination of both B. licheniformis MW3 and the complementation mutant. Germination of both B. licheniformis MW3 and the gerA disruption mutant was induced by the non-nutrient germinant Ca 2+-Dipicolinic acid. Conclusions: These results demonstrate that the B. licheniformis MW3 gerA locus is involved in germination induced by L-alanine and potentially other components present in casein hydrolysate. © 2012 Løvdal et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

Madslien E.H.,Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt FFI | Olsen J.S.,Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt FFI | Granum P.E.,Section for Food Safety | Blatny J.M.,Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt FFI
BMC Microbiology | Year: 2012

Background: Bacillus licheniformis has for many years been used in the industrial production of enzymes, antibiotics and detergents. However, as a producer of dormant heat-resistant endospores B. licheniformis might contaminate semi-preserved foods. The aim of this study was to establish a robust and novel genotyping scheme for B. licheniformis in order to reveal the evolutionary history of 53 strains of this species. Furthermore, the genotyping scheme was also investigated for its use to detect food-contaminating strains. Results: A multi-locus sequence typing (MLST) scheme, based on the sequence of six house-keeping genes (adk, ccpA, recF, rpoB, spo0A and sucC) of 53 B. licheniformis strains from different sources was established. The result of the MLST analysis supported previous findings of two different subgroups (lineages) within this species, named A and B Statistical analysis of the MLST data indicated a higher rate of recombination within group A. Food isolates were widely dispersed in the MLST tree and could not be distinguished from the other strains. However, the food contaminating strain B. licheniformis NVH1032, represented by a unique sequence type (ST8), was distantly related to all other strains. Conclusions: In this study, a novel and robust genotyping scheme for B. licheniformis was established, separating the species into two subgroups. This scheme could be used for further studies of evolution and population genetics in B. licheniformis. © 2012 Madslien et al.; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.

From C.,Section for Food Safety | van der Voort M.,Wageningen University | Abee T.,Wageningen University | Granum P.E.,Section for Food Safety
FEMS Microbiology Letters | Year: 2012

Bc1245 is a monocistronic chromosomal gene of Bacillus cereus ATCC 14579 encoding a putative protein of 143 amino acids identified in this study to have a spore-related function in B. cereus. Bc1245 is highly conserved in the genome of members of the B. cereus group, indicating an important function of the gene in this group of bacteria. Quantitative PCR revealed that bc1245 is transcribed late in sporulation (upon formation of phase-bright spores) and at the same time as the mother cell-specific transcription factor σK. The σK regulon includes structural components of the spore (such as coat proteins), and it is therefore plausible that bc1245 might encode a structural outer spore protein. This was confirmed by detection of BC1245 in exosporium extracts from B. cereus by immunoblotting against BC1245 antiserum. © 2012 Federation of European Microbiological Societies.

Madslien E.H.,Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt FFI | Ronning H.T.,Section for Food Safety | Lindback T.,Section for Food Safety | Hassel B.,Forsvarets Forskningsinstitutt FFI | And 2 more authors.
Journal of Applied Microbiology | Year: 2013

Aims: The aim of this study was to elucidate the prevalence of lichenysin production in Bacillus licheniformis and to see whether this feature was restricted to certain genotypes. Secondly, we wanted to see whether cytotoxicity reflected the measured levels of lichenysin. Methods and Results: Fifty-three genotyped strains of B. licheniformis, representing a wide variety of sources, were included. lchAA gene fragments were detected in all strains by polymerase chain reaction (PCR). All 53 strains produced lichenysins with four molecular masses as confirmed by LC-MS/MS (liquid chromatography-tandem mass spectrometry) analysis. The amounts of lichenysin varied more than two orders of magnitude between strains and were irrespective of genotype. Finally, there was a strong association between lichenysin concentrations and toxicity towards boar spermatozoa, erythrocytes and Vero cells. Conclusions: Lichenysin synthesis was universal among the 53 B. licheniformis strains examined. The quantities varied considerably between strains, but were not specifically associated with genotype. Cytotoxicity was evident at lichenysin concentrations above 10 μg ml-1, which is in accordance with previous studies. Significance and Impact of Study: This study might be of interest to those working on B. licheniformis for commercial use as well as for authorities who make risk assessments of B. licheniformis when used as a food and feed additive. © 2013 The Society for Applied Microbiology.

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