Short communication: Enterotoxigenic potential of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from bovine milk in Poland.


Department of Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology, Faculty of Food Sciences and Fisheries, West Pomeranian University of Technology in Szczecin, 71-459-Szczecin, Poland. Electronic address: [Email]


Our objective was to assess the enterotoxigenic potential of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) isolated from bovine milk in Poland. We analyzed CNS isolates collected from 133 bovine milk batches from dairy farms in the Western Pomerania district during 2 milking seasons. A total of 163 isolates were screened by multiplex/duplex PCR for the presence of 18 of 25 enterotoxin genes identified so far in Staphylococcus aureus. The CNS strains presumed to be potentially enterotoxigenic were identified at the species level based on MALDI-TOF mass spectrometry analysis. Based on the presence of an amplicon matching D, G, or O enterotoxin genes, we initially identified 32 of the 163 CNS isolates tested as potentially enterotoxigenic. However, only 8 of these strains were confirmed as such. All 8 of these CNS strains, identified as Staphylococcus haemolyticus, harbored the seg genes, a prerequisite for enterotoxin G production, but so far not connected with staphylococcal foodborne poisoning cases. None of the CNS bovine milk isolates tested was a potential producer of classical A to E staphylococcal enterotoxins. Results of our surveys revealed a low prevalence of enterotoxigenic CNS among the milk isolates from dairy farms in the Western Pomerania district, Poland, suggesting that they pose only a mild health risk in milk. In our opinion, confirmed formation of nonspecific amplicons leading to false-positive results excludes multiplex/duplex PCR as the sole method for assessing the enterotoxigenic potential of CNS.


bovine milk,coagulase-negative staphylococci,enterotoxigenic potential,enterotoxin,multiplex/duplex PCR,

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