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Microorganisms 2015, 3(3), 551-566; doi:10.3390/microorganisms3030551

Evaluation of Potential Effects of NaCl and Sorbic Acid on Staphylococcal Enterotoxin A Formation

Applied Microbiology, Department of Chemistry, Lund University, Lund 22100, Sweden
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Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Academic Editor: Giuseppe Comi
Received: 18 June 2015 / Revised: 3 August 2015 / Accepted: 1 September 2015 / Published: 17 September 2015
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Microbial Activity in Food)
View Full-Text   |   Download PDF [931 KB, uploaded 17 September 2015]   |  

Abstract

The prophage-encoded staphylococcal enterotoxin A (SEA) is recognized as the main cause of staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP), a common foodborne intoxication disease, caused by Staphylococcus aureus. Studies on the production of SEA suggest that activation of the SOS response and subsequent prophage induction affect the regulation of the sea gene and the SEA produced, increasing the risk for SFP. The present study aims to evaluate the effect of NaCl and sorbic acid, in concentrations relevant to food production, on SOS response activation, prophage induction and SEA production. The impact of stress was initially evaluated on steady state cells for a homogenous cell response. NaCl 2% was found to activate the SOS response, i.e., recA expression, and trigger prophage induction, in a similar way as the phage-inducer mitomycin C. In contrast, sorbic acid decreased the pH of the culture to a level where prophage induction was probably suppressed, even when combined with NaCl stress. The impact of previous physiological state of the bacteria was also addressed on cells pre-exposed to NaCl, and was found to potentially affect cell response upon exposure to further stress. The results obtained highlight the possible SFP-related risks arising from the use of preservatives during food processing. View Full-Text
Keywords: Staphylococcus aureus; enterotoxin A (SEA); staphylococcal food poisoning; food preservatives; prophage induction Staphylococcus aureus; enterotoxin A (SEA); staphylococcal food poisoning; food preservatives; prophage induction
This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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MDPI and ACS Style

Zeaki, N.; Rådström, P.; Schelin, J. Evaluation of Potential Effects of NaCl and Sorbic Acid on Staphylococcal Enterotoxin A Formation. Microorganisms 2015, 3, 551-566.

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