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International journal of food microbiology

Safety and technological characterization of Staphylococcus equorum isolates from jeotgal, a Korean high-salt-fermented seafood, for starter development.


PMID 25106039

Abstract

To select starters for jeotgal, a traditional Korean high-salt-fermented seafood, the safety and technological properties of its predominant bacteria isolates, which were identified as Staphylococcus equorum, were assessed. Among the 185 S. equorum isolates from jeotgal, 126 ampicillin-sensitive strains were subjected to assessments for antibiotic susceptibility and safety hazards. Sixty-six out of the 126 S. equorum strains exhibited phenotypic resistances to at least one antibiotic, and their prevailing resistances were to penicillin G (34.1%), erythromycin (9.5%) and trimethoprim (9.5%). Twenty-four S. equorum strains expressed resistance to at least two antibiotics. The lnuA for lincomycin (four strains) and pbp for β-lactam (three strains) were amplified by PCR. α-Hemolytic activity was not detected from the 126 strains, and 87 strains presented δ-hemolytic activity. Among the 87 strains, three strains exhibited β-hemolytic activity. Thirty-seven strains formed a biofilm. A hemolysin gene homologous to that of Staphylococcus epidermidis was amplified from an S. equorum strain with β-hemolytic activity by PCR; however, no PCR product homologous to the previously known staphylococcal enterotoxin genes was amplified. Thirty-nine S. equorum strains cleared all of the tested safety hazards and were adopted for technological property assessments. Among these strains, 16 strains exhibited protease, lipase and nitrate reductase activities, and seven strains did not produce four types of biogenic amines. Five biogenic amine non-producers exhibited three enzyme activities. Most of the strains could grow on the agar with 20% NaCl, and 13 strains maintained growth at the 25% NaCl condition. S. equorum KS1039, which is the most applicable strain that covers the safety and technological requirements for jeotgal, can grow at the 25% NaCl condition. Through this research study, we reconfirmed the necessity of characterization in the functionality and safety of S. equorum for starter development because all of the tested phenotypic characteristics were expressed in strain-specific manners.