Special Issue "New Challenges for Detection and Control of Food-Borne Pathogens: From Tools to People"

A special issue of Foods (ISSN 2304-8158). This special issue belongs to the section "Food Microbiology".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: closed (30 March 2022) | Viewed by 6035

Special Issue Editors

Dr. Walter Randazzo
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Instituto de Agroquímica y Tecnología de Alimentos (IATA), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Valencia, Spain
Interests: food safety; enteric viruses; molecular biology; norovirus; hepatitis A and E viruses; environmental and food virology; epidemiology
Special Issues, Collections and Topics in MDPI journals
Dr. Pilar Truchado
E-Mail Website
Guest Editor
Centro de Edafología y Biología Aplicada del Segura (CEBAS), Spanish National Research Council (CSIC), Murcia, Spain
Interests: foodborne pathogens; food safety; cross-contamination; microbial inactivation; molecular techniques; bacterial community; viable but non culturable (VBNC) bacteria

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Contamination of foods by human pathogenic microorganisms is a major concern to both food safety and public health.

The changes in consumers’ demand, the food trade globalization, the progress on food production practices and processing technologies all pose new challenges for food industries and regulatory agencies to ensure the safety in food products.

With regard to the microbiological safety, bacteria and virus are the most common foodborne pathogens associated to both sporadic cases and outbreaks.

Foodborne pathogenic bacteria such as, pathogenic E. coli, Listeria and Salmonella and enteric viruses such as human norovirus, hepatitis A and E viruses are the most common causes of foodborne illness in the United States and Europe.

However, bacterial and viral microorganisms differ in terms of their behaviour in food matrices, their stability in food-related environments (e.g., food-contact surfaces; irrigating and processing waters) and their response to food processing technologies and controlling measures.

Thus, specific and sensitive methods are needed to be developed for their detection, and quantification in complex matrices, such as food, and for tracking their occurrence along the food chain to determine the sources of contamination.

Moreover, information on their infectivity/viability is critical for risk assessment even though not easy to achieve because of the cell culture limitations for viral replication and the viable but not cultivable (VBNC) state that prevent bacterial isolation with traditional microbiological methods.  

To fill these gaps, this Special Issue will cover original manuscripts and reviews focused on the development of analytical techniques and the implementation of novel approaches, such as metagenomics, to foster both management practices and control measures. Original research articles investigating relevant methods to detect, quantify and assess viability/infectivity of bacterial and viral human pathogens in the framework of sustainable production practices, innovative processing technologies, and new food products are specifically welcomed.

Dr. Walter Randazzo
Dr. Pilar Truchado
Guest Editors

Manuscript Submission Information

Manuscripts should be submitted online at www.mdpi.com by registering and logging in to this website. Once you are registered, click here to go to the submission form. Manuscripts can be submitted until the deadline. All submissions that pass pre-check are peer-reviewed. Accepted papers will be published continuously in the journal (as soon as accepted) and will be listed together on the special issue website. Research articles, review articles as well as short communications are invited. For planned papers, a title and short abstract (about 100 words) can be sent to the Editorial Office for announcement on this website.

Submitted manuscripts should not have been published previously, nor be under consideration for publication elsewhere (except conference proceedings papers). All manuscripts are thoroughly refereed through a single-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Foods is an international peer-reviewed open access semimonthly journal published by MDPI.

Please visit the Instructions for Authors page before submitting a manuscript. The Article Processing Charge (APC) for publication in this open access journal is 2200 CHF (Swiss Francs). Submitted papers should be well formatted and use good English. Authors may use MDPI's English editing service prior to publication or during author revisions.

Keywords

  • food safety
  • foodborne pathogens
  • microbial inactivation
  • enteric viruses
  • norovirus
  • hepatitis A and E
  • bacterial community
  • viable but non culturable (VBNC) bacteria
  • molecular techniques

Published Papers (6 papers)

Order results
Result details
Select all
Export citation of selected articles as:

Editorial

Jump to: Research, Review

Editorial
New Challenges for Detection and Control of Foodborne Pathogens: From Tools to People
Foods 2022, 11(12), 1788; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11121788 - 17 Jun 2022
Viewed by 464
Abstract
Contamination of foods by human pathogenic microorganisms is a major concern to both food safety and public health [...] Full article

Research

Jump to: Editorial, Review

Article
Frozen Vegetable Processing Plants Can Harbour Diverse Listeria monocytogenes Populations: Identification of Critical Operations by WGS
Foods 2022, 11(11), 1546; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods11111546 - 25 May 2022
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 677
Abstract
Frozen vegetables have emerged as a concern due to their association with foodborne outbreaks such as the multi-country outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes serogroup IVb linked to frozen corn. The capacity of L. monocytogenes to colonize food-processing environments is well-known, making the bacteria a [...] Read more.
Frozen vegetables have emerged as a concern due to their association with foodborne outbreaks such as the multi-country outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes serogroup IVb linked to frozen corn. The capacity of L. monocytogenes to colonize food-processing environments is well-known, making the bacteria a real problem for consumers. However, the significance of the processing environment in the contamination of frozen foods is not well established. This study aimed to identify potential contamination niches of L. monocytogenes in a frozen processing plant and characterize the recovered isolates. A frozen vegetable processing plant was monitored before cleaning activities. A total of 78 points were sampled, including frozen vegetables. Environmental samples belonged to food-contact surfaces (FCS); and non-food-contact surfaces (n-FCS). Positive L. monocytogenes samples were found in FCS (n = 4), n-FCS (n = 9), and the final product (n = 1). A whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis revealed two clusters belonging to serotypes 1/2a-3a and 1/2b-3b). The genetic characterization revealed the presence of four different sequence types previously detected in the food industry. The isolate obtained from the final product was the same as one isolate found in n-FCS. A multi-virulence-locus sequence typing (MVLST) analysis showed four different virulence types (VT). The results obtained highlight the relevant role that n-FCS such as floors and drains can play in spreading L. monocytogenes contamination to the final product. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Untargeted Metabolomics on Skin Mucus Extract of Channa argus against Staphylococcus aureus: Antimicrobial Activity and Mechanism
Foods 2021, 10(12), 2995; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10122995 - 04 Dec 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 615
Abstract
Microbial contamination is one of the most common food safety issues that lead to food spoilage and foodborne illness, which readily affects the health of the masses as well as gives rise to huge economic losses. In this study, Channa argus was used [...] Read more.
Microbial contamination is one of the most common food safety issues that lead to food spoilage and foodborne illness, which readily affects the health of the masses as well as gives rise to huge economic losses. In this study, Channa argus was used as a source of antimicrobial agent that was then analyzed by untargeted metabolomics for its antibacterial mechanism against Staphylococcus aureus. The results indicated that the skin mucus extract of C. argus had great inhibitory action on the growth of S. aureus, and the morphology of S. aureus cells treated with the skin mucus extract exhibited severe morphological damage under scanning electron microscopy. In addition, metabolomics analysis revealed that skin mucus extract stress inhibited the primary metabolic pathways of S. aureus by inducing the tricarboxylic acid cycle and amino acid biosynthesis, which further affected the normal physiological functions of biofilms. In conclusion, the antimicrobial effect of the skin mucus extract is achieved by disrupting cell membrane functions to induce an intracellular metabolic imbalance. Hence, these results conduce to amass novel insights into the antimicrobial mechanism of the skin mucus extract of C. argus against S. aureus. Full article
Show Figures

Graphical abstract

Article
Real-Time PCR Method for the Rapid Detection and Quantification of Pathogenic Staphylococcus Species Based on Novel Molecular Target Genes
Foods 2021, 10(11), 2839; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10112839 - 17 Nov 2021
Cited by 1 | Viewed by 749
Abstract
Coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus is a foodborne pathogen considered one of the causes of food-related disease outbreaks. Like S. aureus, Staphylococcus capitis, Staphylococcus caprae, and S. epidermidis are opportunistic pathogens causing clinical infections and food contamination. The objective of our study [...] Read more.
Coagulase-positive Staphylococcus aureus is a foodborne pathogen considered one of the causes of food-related disease outbreaks. Like S. aureus, Staphylococcus capitis, Staphylococcus caprae, and S. epidermidis are opportunistic pathogens causing clinical infections and food contamination. The objective of our study was to develop a rapid, accurate, and monitoring technique to detect four Staphylococcus species in food. Four novel molecular targets (GntR family transcriptional regulator for S. aureus, phosphomannomutase for S. epidermidis, FAD-dependent urate hydroxylase for S. capitis, and Gram-positive signal peptide protein for S. caprae) were mined based on pan-genome analysis. Primers targeting molecular target genes showed 100% specificity for 100 non-target reference strains. The detection limit in pure cultures and artificially contaminated food samples was 102 colony-forming unit/mL for S. aureus, S. capitis, S. caprae, and S. epidermidis. Moreover, real-time polymerase chain reaction successfully detected strains isolated from various food matrices. Thus, our method allows an accurate and rapid monitoring of Staphylococcus species and may help control staphylococcal contamination of food. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Article
Occurrence of Human Enteric Viruses in Shellfish along the Production and Distribution Chain in Sicily, Italy
Foods 2021, 10(6), 1384; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10061384 - 15 Jun 2021
Cited by 2 | Viewed by 1344
Abstract
Contamination of bivalve mollusks with human pathogenic viruses represents a recognized food safety risk. Thus, monitoring programs for shellfish quality along the entire food chain could help to finally preserve the health of consumers. The aim of the present study was to provide [...] Read more.
Contamination of bivalve mollusks with human pathogenic viruses represents a recognized food safety risk. Thus, monitoring programs for shellfish quality along the entire food chain could help to finally preserve the health of consumers. The aim of the present study was to provide up-to-date data on the prevalence of enteric virus contamination along the shellfish production and distribution chain in Sicily. To this end, 162 batches of mollusks were collected between 2017 and 2019 from harvesting areas, depuration and dispatch centers (n = 63), restaurants (n = 6) and retail stores (n = 93) distributed all over the island. Samples were processed according to ISO 15216 standard method, and the presence of genogroup GI and GII norovirus (NoV), hepatitis A and E viruses (HAV, HEV), rotavirus and adenovirus was investigated by real-time reverse transcription polymerase chain reaction (real-time-RT PCR), nested (RT)-PCR and molecular genotyping. Our findings show that 5.56% of samples were contaminated with at least one NoV, HAV and/or HEV. Contaminated shellfish were sampled at production sites and retail stores and their origin was traced back to Spain and several municipalities in Italy. In conclusion, our study highlights the need to implement routine monitoring programs along the whole food chain as an effective measure to prevent foodborne transmission of enteric viruses. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Review

Jump to: Editorial, Research

Review
Potential of Flow Cytometric Approaches for Rapid Microbial Detection and Characterization in the Food Industry—A Review
Foods 2021, 10(12), 3112; https://doi.org/10.3390/foods10123112 - 15 Dec 2021
Cited by 5 | Viewed by 1086
Abstract
As microbial contamination is persistent within the food and bioindustries and foodborne infections are still a significant cause of death, the detection, monitoring, and characterization of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms are of great importance. However, the current methods do not meet all relevant [...] Read more.
As microbial contamination is persistent within the food and bioindustries and foodborne infections are still a significant cause of death, the detection, monitoring, and characterization of pathogens and spoilage microorganisms are of great importance. However, the current methods do not meet all relevant criteria. They either show (i) inadequate sensitivity, rapidity, and effectiveness; (ii) a high workload and time requirement; or (iii) difficulties in differentiating between viable and non-viable cells. Flow cytometry (FCM) represents an approach to overcome such limitations. Thus, this comprehensive literature review focuses on the potential of FCM and fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) for food and bioindustry applications. First, the principles of FCM and FISH and basic staining methods are discussed, and critical areas for microbial contamination, including abiotic and biotic surfaces, water, and air, are characterized. State-of-the-art non-specific FCM and specific FISH approaches are described, and their limitations are highlighted. One such limitation is the use of toxic and mutagenic fluorochromes and probes. Alternative staining and hybridization approaches are presented, along with other strategies to overcome the current challenges. Further research needs are outlined in order to make FCM and FISH even more suitable monitoring and detection tools for food quality and safety and environmental and clinical approaches. Full article
Show Figures

Figure 1

Back to TopTop