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T-Stór is Teagasc’s Open Access Repository, maintained by the Teagasc Library Service. Stór is the Gaelic word for Repository or Store or Warehouse, and T-Stór is an online “store” of Teagasc Research outputs and related documents. T-Stór collects preserves and makes freely available scholarly communication, including peer-reviewed articles, working papers and conference papers created by Teagasc researchers. Where material has already been published it is made available subject to the open-access policies of the original publishers. About Teagasc
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Impacts of Seasonal Housing and Teat Preparation on Raw Milk Microbiota: a High-Throughput Sequencing StudyIn pasture-based systems, changes in dairy herd habitat due to seasonality results in the exposure of animals to different environmental niches. These niches contain distinct microbial communities that may be transferred to raw milk, with potentially important food quality and safety implications for milk producers. It is postulated that the extent to which these microorganisms are transferred could be limited by the inclusion of a teat preparation step prior to milking. High-throughput sequencing on a variety of microbial niches on farms was used to study the patterns of microbial movement through the dairy production chain and, in the process, to investigate the impact of seasonal housing and the inclusion/exclusion of a teat preparation regime on the raw milk microbiota from the same herd over two sampling periods, i.e., indoor and outdoor. Beta diversity and network analyses showed that environmental and milk microbiotas separated depending on whether they were sourced from an indoor or outdoor environment. Within these respective habitats, similarities between the milk microbiota and that of teat swab samples and, to a lesser extent, fecal samples were apparent. Indeed, SourceTracker identified the teat surface as the most significant source of contamination, with herd feces being the next most prevalent source of contamination. In milk from cows grazing outdoors, teat prep significantly increased the numbers of total bacteria present. In summary, sequence-based microbiota analysis identified possible sources of raw milk contamination and highlighted the influence of environment and farm management practices on the raw milk microbiota.
A review of water quality policies in relation to public good benefits and community engagement in rural IrelandThis paper examines current recreational water use in the rural landscape in Ireland and reviews current EU policies and national regulations aimed at protecting water quality and the wider environment under agri-environmental schemes. Specifically, we review policy instruments that protect water for recreational use, their impacts and the challenges they pose for rural development against current requirements to increase public awareness and participation. In Ireland, there is limited experience in public participation in water quality protection and restoration and we highlight how this can be addressed by focussing on the specific contribution of water quality in rural areas in relation to the provision of recreational ecosystem services. These services provide the infrastructure for much of Ireland’s rural tourism sector. In this context, emerging participatory approaches to policy implementation are also assessed as national and local government prioritise community engagement for the second cycle under the EU Water Framework Directive (WFD).
Economic Assessment of Waterborne Outbreak of CryptosporidiosisIn 2007, a waterborne outbreak of Cryptosporidium hominis infection occurred in western Ireland, resulting in 242 laboratory-confirmed cases and an uncertain number of unconfirmed cases. A boil water notice was in place for 158 days that affected 120,432 persons residing in the area, businesses, visitors, and commuters. This outbreak represented the largest outbreak of cryptosporidiosis in Ireland. The purpose of this study was to evaluate the cost of this outbreak. We adopted a societal perspective in estimating costs associated with the outbreak. Economic cost estimated was based on totaling direct and indirect costs incurred by public and private agencies. The cost of the outbreak was estimated based on 2007 figures. We estimate that the cost of the outbreak was >€19 million (≈€120,000/day of the outbreak). The US dollar equivalent based on today’s exchange rates would be $22.44 million (≈$142,000/day of the outbreak). This study highlights the economic need for a safe drinking water supply.
Preparation and Characterization of Nanoparticles Made from Co-Incubation of SOD and GlucoseThe attractive potential of natural superoxide dismutase (SOD) in the fields of medicine and functional food is limited by its short half-life in circulation and poor permeability across the cell membrane. The nanoparticle form of SOD might overcome these limitations. However, most preparative methods have disadvantages, such as complicated operation, a variety of reagents-some of them even highly toxic-and low encapsulation efficiency or low release rate. The aim of this study is to present a simple and green approach for the preparation of SOD nanoparticles (NPs) by means of co-incubation of Cu/Zn SOD with glucose. This method was designed to prepare nanoscale aggregates based on the possible inhibitory effect of Maillard reaction on heating-induced aggregation during the co-incubation. Sodium dodecyl sulfate-polyacrylamide gel electrophoresis (SDS-PAGE) results indicated that the Maillard reaction occurred during the co-incubation process. It was found that enzymatically active NPs of Cu/Zn SOD were simultaneously generated during the reaction, with an average particle size of 175.86 ± 0.71 nm, and a Zeta potential of -17.27 ± 0.59 mV, as established by the measurement of enzymatic activity, observations using field emission scanning electron microscope, and analysis of dynamic light scattering, respectively. The preparative conditions for the SOD NPs were optimized by response surface design to increase SOD activity 20.43 fold. These SOD NPs showed storage stability for 25 days and better cell uptake efficacy than natural SOD. Therefore, these NPs of SOD are expected to be a potential drug candidate or functional food factor. To our knowledge, this is the first report on the preparation of nanoparticles possessing the bioactivity of the graft component protein, using the simple and green approach of co-incubation with glucose, which occurs frequently in the food industry during thermal processing.
Bacteriophages and Bacterial Plant DiseasesLosses in crop yields due to disease need to be reduced in order to meet increasing global food demands associated with growth in the human population. There is a well-recognized need to develop new environmentally friendly control strategies to combat bacterial crop disease. Current control measures involving the use of traditional chemicals or antibiotics are losing their efficacy due to the natural development of bacterial resistance to these agents. In addition, there is an increasing awareness that their use is environmentally unfriendly. Bacteriophages, the viruses of bacteria, have received increased research interest in recent years as a realistic environmentally friendly means of controlling bacterial diseases. Their use presents a viable control measure for a number of destructive bacterial crop diseases, with some phage-based products already becoming available on the market. Phage biocontrol possesses advantages over chemical controls in that tailor-made phage cocktails can be adapted to target specific disease-causing bacteria. Unlike chemical control measures, phage mixtures can be easily adapted for bacterial resistance which may develop over time. In this review, we will examine the progress and challenges for phage-based disease biocontrol in food crops.