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Special Issue "Bacterial Enterotoxins in Food Safety"

A special issue of Toxins (ISSN 2072-6651). This special issue belongs to the section "Bacterial Toxins".

Deadline for manuscript submissions: 31 July 2019

Special Issue Editor

Guest Editor
Prof. Dr. Andreja Rajkovic

Department of Food Technology, food safety and health, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University (UGent), Coupure Links 657, 9000 Ghent, Belgium
Website | E-Mail
Interests: Bacillus cereus enterotoxins, emetic toxin, cereulide, Staphylococcal enterotoxins, Clostridium botulinum neurotoxins, Clostridium perfringens enterotoxin, shiga toxin, food safety, beauvericin, enniatins, food safety in Serbia

Special Issue Information

Dear Colleagues,

Bacterial enterotoxins, in the broadest sense, are proteins or peptides that exert their effect on intestines, causing a plethora of gastrointestinal disease manifestations. Enterotoxins are produced by both gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens, both in food and in host’s gastro intestinal tract. In Europe, data collected by Rapid and Alert System for Food and Feed safety about 10% of all outbreaks is found to be caused by bacterial toxins, and only toxins taken here into account were those of Bacillus, Clostridium, and Staphylococcus, which were found in almost all types of food. In USA and UK, enterotoxins produced by C. perfringens are even reported as the top two causative agents of foodborne bacterial poisoning. Bacterial enterotoxins are for many foodborne pathogens the major virulence factor responsible for the symptoms of food poisoning. This is the case among others for Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, enterotoxigenic Escherichia coli, and Staphylococcus aureus. Many pathogens produce different toxins, and often one strain can produce multiple toxins. The path from the presence of genes encoding for toxin production and actual protein expression, or non-ribosomal peptide synthesis, is not always straight forward, and final toxin production depends on many factors. Understanding these factors is detrimental to food safety assurance. Also, there is great need for a better understanding of the threat to public health from exposure to a single toxin arising from multiple pathways or to multiple toxins that have the same mechanism of toxicity. The aim of the current Special Issue is to gather the most recent cutting-edge research on the topic of bacterial enterotoxins, including, but not limited to, in-vitro, in-vivo and in-silico toxicity, their roles in host-pathogen interactions, the mode and mechanisms of action, the regulation of production, the structure-activity relationship, the exposure assessment, and the detection and control relevant to food safety. This Special Issue aims to become a reference for a new body of knowledge on bacterial toxins, from microbial genes to the human gut.

Prof. Dr. Andreja Rajkovic
Guest Editor

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 papers will be 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 double-blind peer-review process. A guide for authors and other relevant information for submission of manuscripts is available on the Instructions for Authors page. Toxins is an international peer-reviewed open access monthly 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 1800 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

  • host–pathogen interaction
  • food safety
  • toxin
  • expression
  • exposure
  • toxicity

Published Papers (3 papers)

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Research

Open AccessArticle
Genotypes, Enterotoxin Gene Profiles, and Antimicrobial Resistance of Staphylococcus aureus Associated with Foodborne Outbreaks in Hangzhou, China
Received: 25 March 2019 / Revised: 19 May 2019 / Accepted: 23 May 2019 / Published: 29 May 2019
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Abstract
Staphylococcal food poisoning is an illness caused by the consumption of food that contains sufficient amounts of one or more enterotoxins. In the present study, a total of 37 S. aureus isolates were recovered from leftover food, swabs from a kitchen environment, and [...] Read more.
Staphylococcal food poisoning is an illness caused by the consumption of food that contains sufficient amounts of one or more enterotoxins. In the present study, a total of 37 S. aureus isolates were recovered from leftover food, swabs from a kitchen environment, and patient feces associated with four foodborne outbreaks that occurred in Hangzhou, southeast China, and were characterized by multilocus sequence typing (MLST), spa typing, pulse-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), and antimicrobial susceptibility. Classical enterotoxin and enterotoxin-like genes were profiled by PCR analysis. ST6-t304 was the most common clone (40.54%), followed by ST2315-t11687 (32.43%). Six clusters (A to F) were divided based on PFGE patterns, and Clusters A and C were the most common types, constituting 86.49% of all isolates. Moreover, sea was the most frequently identified enterotoxin gene (81.08%), followed by the combination of seg–sei–selm–seln–sleo–selu and sec–sell (each 48.65%). Five isolates also harbored the exotoxin cluster sed–selj–ser. In addition, resistance to penicillin (97.30%), erythromycin (37.85), tetracycline (32.43%), clindamycin, gentamicin, and sulfamethoxazole (each 10.81%) was observed. Our research demonstrated the link between leftover foods and patients by molecular typing and detecting the profiles of enterotoxin or enterotoxin-like genes in human and food isolates. S. aureus maintains an extensive repertoire of enterotoxins and drug resistance genes that could cause potential health threats to consumers. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Enterotoxins in Food Safety)
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Open AccessArticle
Characterization of A Staphylococcal Food Poisoning Outbreak in A Workplace Canteen during the Post-Earthquake Reconstruction of Central Italy
Toxins 2018, 10(12), 523; https://doi.org/10.3390/toxins10120523
Received: 12 October 2018 / Revised: 30 November 2018 / Accepted: 3 December 2018 / Published: 6 December 2018
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Abstract
In summer 2017, a foodborne outbreak occurred in Central Italy, involving 26 workers employed in the post-earthquake reconstruction. After eating a meal provided by a catering service, they manifested gastrointestinal symptoms; 23 of them were hospitalized. The retrospective cohort study indicated the pasta [...] Read more.
In summer 2017, a foodborne outbreak occurred in Central Italy, involving 26 workers employed in the post-earthquake reconstruction. After eating a meal provided by a catering service, they manifested gastrointestinal symptoms; 23 of them were hospitalized. The retrospective cohort study indicated the pasta salad as the most likely vehicle of poisoning. Foods, environmental samples, and food handlers’ nasal swabs were collected. Bacillus cereus (Bc) and coagulase-positive staphylococci (CPS) including S. aureus, together with their toxins, were the targets of the analysis. CPS, detected in all the leftovers, exceeded 105 CFU/g in the pasta salad, in which we found Staphylococcal Enterotoxins (SEs) (0.033 ng SEA/g; 0.052 ng SED/g). None of the environmental and human swabs showed contamination. We characterized 23 S. aureus from foods. They all belonged to the human biotype, showed the same toxigenic profile (sea, sed, sej, and ser genes), and had the same Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) pattern; none of them harbored mecA or mupA genes. We also detected Bc contamination in the pasta salad but none of the isolates harbored the ces gene for the emetic toxin cereulide. The EU Reference Laboratory for CPS confirmed the case as a strong-evidence outbreak caused by the ingestion of SEs produced by a single strain of S. aureus carried by the same human source. This outbreak was successfully investigated despite the emergency situation in which it occurred. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Enterotoxins in Food Safety)
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Open AccessArticle
Oxygen Consumption Rate Analysis of Mitochondrial Dysfunction Caused by Bacillus cereus Cereulide in Caco-2 and HepG2 Cells
Received: 8 June 2018 / Revised: 20 June 2018 / Accepted: 22 June 2018 / Published: 2 July 2018
Cited by 1 | PDF Full-text (1792 KB) | HTML Full-text | XML Full-text
Abstract
The emetic syndrome of Bacillus cereus is a food intoxication caused by cereulide (CER) and manifested by emesis, nausea and in most severe cases with liver failure. While acute effects have been studied in the aftermath of food intoxication, an exposure to low [...] Read more.
The emetic syndrome of Bacillus cereus is a food intoxication caused by cereulide (CER) and manifested by emesis, nausea and in most severe cases with liver failure. While acute effects have been studied in the aftermath of food intoxication, an exposure to low doses of cereulide might cause unnoticed damages to the intestines and liver. The toxicity which relies on the mitochondrial dysfunction was assessed on Caco-2 and HepG2 cells after exposure of one, three and ten days to a range of low doses of cereulide. Oxygen consumption rate analyses were used to study the impact of low doses of CER on the bioenergetics functions of undifferentiated Caco-2 and HepG2 cells using Seahorse XF extracellular flux analyzer. Both Caco-2 and HepG2 cells experienced measurable mitochondrial impairment after prolonged exposure of 10 days to 0.25 nM of cereulide. Observed mitochondrial dysfunction was greatly reflected in reduction of maximal cell respiration. At 0.50 nM CER, mitochondrial respiration was almost completely shut down, especially in HepG2 cells. These results corresponded with a severe reduction in the amount of cells and an altered morphology, observed by microscopic examination of the cells. Accurate and robust quantification of basal respiration, ATP production, proton leak, maximal respiration, spare respiratory capacity, and non-mitochondrial respiration allowed better understanding of the effects of cereulide in underlying respiratory malfunctions in low-dose exposure. Full article
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Bacterial Enterotoxins in Food Safety)
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