• Hydrolysis of Ks1- and L-casein-derived peptides with a broad specifcity aminopeptidase and proline specific aminopeptidases from Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris AM2

      Bouchier, Paul J.; Fitzgerald, Richard J.; O'Cuinn, Gerard; Forbairt; IRish Dairy LEvy; European Union; AIR2-CT94-1560 (Wiley, 1999-03-29)
      Aminopeptidase hydrolysis of αs1- and β-casein-derived synthetic peptides containing non-consecutive and consecutive proline residues was characterised. Aminopeptidase P (Pep P) (EC 3.4.11.9) or post-proline dipeptidyl aminopeptidase (PPDA) (EC 3.4.14.5) along with lysine-paranitroanilide hydrolase (KpNA-H) (EC 3.4.11.1) activities are required in the degradation of peptides containing non-consecutive proline residues. However, both Pep P and PPDA along with KpNA-H are required for hydrolysis of peptides containing consecutive proline residues. The results demonstrate the mechanism by which combinations of purified general and proline specific aminopeptidases from Lactococcus lactis subsp. cremoris AM2 hydrolyse peptides containing proline residues.
    • Impact of pulsed electric field pre-treatment on nutritional and polyphenolic contents and bioactivities of light and dark brewer's spent grains

      Kumari, Bibha; Tiwari, Brijesh K; Walsh, Des; Griffin, Tomás; Islam, Nahidul; Lyng, James G.; Brunton, Nigel; Rai, Dilip K.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; European Union; et al. (Elsevier, 2019-04-30)
      Pulsed electric field (PEF) pre-treatment, at 2.8 kV/cm with 3000 pulses of 20 μs pulse-width, was applied on brewer's spent grains (BSG) followed by aqueous extraction at 55 °C, 220 rpm for 16 h. PEF pre-treatment showed significantly increased yields (p < 0.05) of carbohydrate, protein, starch and reducing sugar in extracts from dark BSG compared to untreated samples. Light BSG extracts had significantly higher (p < 0.05) levels of free d-glucose and total free amino acids (18.5–33.3 and 21–25 mg/g dry weight extract (Dwe)), compared to dark extracts (5 and 1.2 mg/g Dwe respectively). Dark BSG extracts showed significantly higher (p < 0.05) total phenolics (3.97–4.88 mg GAE/g Dwe) compared to light BSG extracts (0.83–1.40 mg GAE/g Dwe). Furthermore, PEF treated light BSG showed higher antimicrobial activity with minimum inhibition concentration (MIC) of 50 and 25 mg/mL against Salmonella typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes, respectively compared to the untreated extracts (>50 mg/mL) with lowest MIC value of 1.56 mg/mL against Staphylococcus aureus. All the BSG extracts induced the release of pro-inflammatory cytokines (IL-1β, IL-6, TNF-α) and chemokines (IL-8, MCP-1 and MIP-1α) confirming immunomodulatory activity.
    • Large-scale genome-wide analysis links lactic acid bacteria from food with the gut microbiome

      Pasolli, Edoardo; De Filippis, Francesca; Mauriello, Italia E.; Cumbo, Fabio; Walsh, Aaron M.; Leech, John; Cotter, Paul D.; Segata, Nicola; Ercolini, Danilo; European Union; et al. (Springer Science and Business Media LLC, 2020-05-25)
      Lactic acid bacteria (LAB) are fundamental in the production of fermented foods and several strains are regarded as probiotics. Large quantities of live LAB are consumed within fermented foods, but it is not yet known to what extent the LAB we ingest become members of the gut microbiome. By analysis of 9445 metagenomes from human samples, we demonstrate that the prevalence and abundance of LAB species in stool samples is generally low and linked to age, lifestyle, and geography, with Streptococcus thermophilus and Lactococcus lactis being most prevalent. Moreover, we identify genome-based differences between food and gut microbes by considering 666 metagenome-assembled genomes (MAGs) newly reconstructed from fermented food microbiomes along with 154,723 human MAGs and 193,078 reference genomes. Our large-scale genome-wide analysis demonstrates that closely related LAB strains occur in both food and gut environments and provides unprecedented evidence that fermented foods can be indeed regarded as a possible source of LAB for the gut microbiome.
    • Microbiota and Neurodevelopmental Trajectories: Role of Maternal and Early-Life Nutrition

      Codagnone, Martin G.; STANTON, CATHERINE; O'Mahony, Siobhain M.; Dinan, Timothy G.; Cryan, John F.; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; Nestlé Nutrition Institute; 754535; 12/RC/2273 (S. Karger AG, 2019-06-24)
      Pregnancy and early life are characterized by marked changes in body microbial composition. Intriguingly, these changes take place simultaneously with neurodevelopmental plasticity, suggesting a complex dialogue between the microbes that inhabit the gastrointestinal tract and the brain. The purpose of this chapter is to describe the natural trajectory of microbiota during pregnancy and early life, as well as review the literature available on its interaction with neurodevelopment. Several lines of evidence show that the gut microbiota interacts with diet, drugs and stress both prenatally and postnatally. Clinical and preclinical studies are illuminating how these disruptions result in different developmental outcomes. Understanding the role of the microbiota in neurodevelopment may lead to novel approaches to the study of the pathophysiology and treatment of neuropsychiatric disorders.
    • A pilot study demonstrating the altered gut microbiota functionality in stable adults with Cystic Fibrosis

      Fouhy, Fiona; Ronan, N. J.; O'Sullivan, Orla; McCarthy, Y.; Walsh, Aaron M.; Murphy, D.M.; Daly, M.; Flanagan, E. T.; Fleming, C.; McCarthy, M.; et al. (Nature Publishing Group, 2017-07-27)
      Cystic Fibrosis (CF) and its treatment result in an altered gut microbiota composition compared to non-CF controls. However, the impact of this on gut microbiota functionality has not been extensively characterised. Our aim was to conduct a proof-of-principle study to investigate if measurable changes in gut microbiota functionality occur in adult CF patients compared to controls. Metagenomic DNA was extracted from faecal samples from six CF patients and six non-CF controls and shotgun metagenomic sequencing was performed on the MiSeq platform. Metabolomic analysis using gas chromatography-mass spectrometry was conducted on faecal water. The gut microbiota of the CF group was significantly different compared to the non-CF controls, with significantly increased Firmicutes and decreased Bacteroidetes. Functionality was altered, with higher pathway abundances and gene families involved in lipid (e.g. PWY 6284 unsaturated fatty acid biosynthesis (p = 0.016)) and xenobiotic metabolism (e.g. PWY-5430 meta-cleavage pathway of aromatic compounds (p = 0.004)) in CF patients compared to the controls. Significant differences in metabolites occurred between the two groups. This proof-of-principle study demonstrates that measurable changes in gut microbiota functionality occur in CF patients compared to controls. Larger studies are thus needed to interrogate this further.
    • Proteomics as the final step in the functional metagenomics study of antimicrobial resistance

      Fouhy, Fiona; STANTON, CATHERINE; Cotter, Paul D.; Hill, Colin; Walsh, Fiona; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; SFI/12/RC/2273; 603038 (Frontiers Media S. A., 03/03/2015)
      The majority of clinically applied antimicrobial agents are derived from natural products generated by soil microorganisms and therefore resistance is likely to be ubiquitous in such environments. This is supported by the fact that numerous clinically important resistance mechanisms are encoded within the genomes of such bacteria. Advances in genomic sequencing have enabled the in silico identification of putative resistance genes present in these microorganisms. However, it is not sufficient to rely on the identification of putative resistance genes, we must also determine if the resultant proteins confer a resistant phenotype. This will require an analysis pipeline that extends from the extraction of environmental DNA, to the identification and analysis of potential resistance genes and their resultant proteins and phenotypes. This review focuses on the application of functional metagenomics and proteomics to study antimicrobial resistance in diverse environments.
    • Risk Assessment of E. coli Survival Up to the Grazing Exclusion Period After Dairy Slurry, Cattle Dung, and Biosolids Application to Grassland

      Ashekuzzaman, S.M.; Richards, Karl G.; Ellis, Stephanie; Tyrrel, Sean; O'Leary, Emma; Griffiths, Bryan; Ritz, Karl; Fenton, Owen; European Union; 265269 (Frontiers, 10/07/2018)
      Grassland application of dairy slurry, cattle dung, and biosolids offers an opportunity to recycle valuable nutrients (N, P, and K), which may all introduce pathogens to the soil environment. Herein, a temporal risk assessment of the survival of Escherichia coli (E. coli) up to 40 days in line with the legislated grazing exclusion time points after application was examined across six scenarios: (1) soil and biosolids mixture, (2) biosolids amended soil, (3) dairy slurry application, (4) cattle dung on pasture, (5) comparison of scenario 2, 3, and 4, and (6) maximum legal vs. excess rate of application for scenario 2 and 3. The risk model input parameters were taken or derived from regressions within the literature and an uncertainty analysis (n = 1,000 trials for each scenario) was conducted. Scenario 1 results showed that E. coli survival was higher in the soil/biosolids mixture for higher biosolids portion, resulting in the highest 20 day value of residual E. coli concentration (i.e., C20, log10 CFU g−1 dw) of 1.0 in 100% biosolids or inoculated soil and the lowest C20 of 0.098 in 75/25 soil/biosolids ratio, respectively, in comparison to an average initial value of ~6.4 log10 CFU g−1 dw. The E. coli survival across scenario 2, 3, and 4 showed that the C20 value of biosolids (0.57 log10 CFU g−1 dw) and dairy slurry (0.74 log10 CFU ml−1) was 2.9–3.7 times smaller than that of cattle dung (2.12 log10 CFU g−1 dw). The C20 values of biosolids and dairy slurry associated with legal and excess application rates ranged from 1.14 to 1.71 log10 CFU ha−1, which is a significant reduction from the initial concentration range (12.99 to 14.83 log10 CFU ha−1). The E. coli survival in un-amended soil was linear with a very low decay rate resulting in a higher C20 value than that of biosolids or dairy slurry. The risk assessment and uncertainly analysis showed that the residual concentrations in biosolids/dairy slurry applied soil after 20 days would be 45–57% lower than that of the background soil E. coli concentration. This means the current practice of grazing exclusion times is safe to reduce the risk of E. coli transmission into the soil environment.
    • Seaweed Components as Potential Modulators of the Gut Microbiota

      Shannon, Emer; Conlon, Michael; Hayes, Maria; Teagasc; European Union; 754380 (MDPI AG, 2021-06-23)
      Macroalgae, or seaweeds, are a rich source of components which may exert beneficial effects on the mammalian gut microbiota through the enhancement of bacterial diversity and abundance. An imbalance of gut bacteria has been linked to the development of disorders such as inflammatory bowel disease, immunodeficiency, hypertension, type-2-diabetes, obesity, and cancer. This review outlines current knowledge from in vitro and in vivo studies concerning the potential therapeutic application of seaweed-derived polysaccharides, polyphenols and peptides to modulate the gut microbiota through diet. Polysaccharides such as fucoidan, laminarin, alginate, ulvan and porphyran are unique to seaweeds. Several studies have shown their potential to act as prebiotics and to positively modulate the gut microbiota. Prebiotics enhance bacterial populations and often their production of short chain fatty acids, which are the energy source for gastrointestinal epithelial cells, provide protection against pathogens, influence immunomodulation, and induce apoptosis of colon cancer cells. The oral bioaccessibility and bioavailability of seaweed components is also discussed, including the advantages and limitations of static and dynamic in vitro gastrointestinal models versus ex vivo and in vivo methods. Seaweed bioactives show potential for use in prevention and, in some instances, treatment of human disease. However, it is also necessary to confirm these potential, therapeutic effects in large-scale clinical trials. Where possible, we have cited information concerning these trials.
    • Short-term consumption of a high-fat diet increases host susceptibility to Listeria monocytogenes infection

      Heras, Vanessa L; Clooney, Adam G; Ryan, Feargal J; Cabrera-Rubio, Raul; Casey, Patrick G.; Hueston, Cara M; Pinheiro, Jorge; Rudkin, Justine K; Melgar, Silvia; Cotter, Paul D.; et al. (Biomed Central, 2019-01-18)
      Background A westernized diet comprising a high caloric intake from animal fats is known to influence the development of pathological inflammatory conditions. However, there has been relatively little focus upon the implications of such diets for the progression of infectious disease. Here, we investigated the influence of a high-fat (HF) diet upon parameters that influence Listeria monocytogenes infection in mice. Results We determined that short-term administration of a HF diet increases the number of goblet cells, a known binding site for the pathogen, in the gut and also induces profound changes to the microbiota and promotes a pro-inflammatory gene expression profile in the host. Host physiological changes were concordant with significantly increased susceptibility to oral L. monocytogenes infection in mice fed a HF diet relative to low fat (LF)- or chow-fed animals. Prior to Listeria infection, short-term consumption of HF diet elevated levels of Firmicutes including Coprococcus, Butyricicoccus, Turicibacter and Clostridium XIVa species. During active infection with L. monocytogenes, microbiota changes were further exaggerated but host inflammatory responses were significantly downregulated relative to Listeria-infected LF- or chow-fed groups, suggestive of a profound tempering of the host response influenced by infection in the context of a HF diet. The effects of diet were seen beyond the gut, as a HF diet also increased the sensitivity of mice to systemic infection and altered gene expression profiles in the liver. Conclusions We adopted a systems approach to identify the effects of HF diet upon L. monocytogenes infection through analysis of host responses and microbiota changes (both pre- and post-infection). Overall, the results indicate that short-term consumption of a westernized diet has the capacity to significantly alter host susceptibility to L. monocytogenes infection concomitant with changes to the host physiological landscape. The findings suggest that diet should be a consideration when developing models that reflect human infectious disease.
    • Sprouted Barley Flour as a Nutritious and Functional Ingredient

      Rico, Daniel; Peñas, Elena; García, María del Carmen; Martínez-Villaluenga, Cristina; Rai, Dilip K.; Birsan, Rares I.; Frias, Juana; Martín-Diana, Ana B.; ITACyL; European Union; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-03-05)
      The increasing demand for healthy food products has promoted the use of germinated seeds to produce functional flours. In this study, germination conditions were optimized in barley grains with the aim to produce flours with high nutritional and biofunctional potential using response surface methodology (RSM). The impact of germination time (0.8–6 days) and temperature (12–20 °C) on barley quality was studied. Non-germinated barley was used as the control. The content of vitamins B1, B2 and C, and proteins increased notably after germination, especially at longer times, while levels of fat, carbohydrates, fibre, and β-glucan were reduced. Total phenolic compounds, γ-aminobutyric acid and antioxidant activity determined by Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity increased between 2-fold and 4-fold during sprouting, depending on germination conditions and this increase was more pronounced at higher temperatures (16–20 °C) and longer times (5–6 days). Procyanidin B and ferulic acid were the main phenolics in the soluble and insoluble fraction, respectively. Procyanidin B levels decreased while bound ferulic acid content increased during germination. Germinated barley flours exhibited lower brightness and a higher glycemic index than the control ones. This study shows that germination at 16 °C for 3.5 days was the optimum process to obtain nutritious and functional barley flours. Under these conditions, sprouts retained 87% of the initial β-glucan content, and exhibited levels of ascorbic acid, riboflavin, phenolic compounds and GABA between 1.4-fold and 2.5-fold higher than the non-sprouted grain.
    • Sprouted Barley Flour as a Nutritious and Functional Ingredient

      Rico, Daniel; Peñas, Elena; García, María del Carmen; Martínez-Villaluenga, Cristina; Rai, Dilip K.; Birsan, Rares I.; Frias, Juana; Martín-Diana, Ana B.; Agrotechnological Institute (ITACyL); European Union; et al. (MDPI AG, 2020-03-05)
      The increasing demand for healthy food products has promoted the use of germinated seeds to produce functional flours. In this study, germination conditions were optimized in barley grains with the aim to produce flours with high nutritional and biofunctional potential using response surface methodology (RSM). The impact of germination time (0.8–6 days) and temperature (12–20 °C) on barley quality was studied. Non-germinated barley was used as the control. The content of vitamins B1, B2 and C, and proteins increased notably after germination, especially at longer times, while levels of fat, carbohydrates, fibre, and β-glucan were reduced. Total phenolic compounds, γ-aminobutyric acid and antioxidant activity determined by Oxygen Radical Absorbance Capacity increased between 2-fold and 4-fold during sprouting, depending on germination conditions and this increase was more pronounced at higher temperatures (16–20 °C) and longer times (5–6 days). Procyanidin B and ferulic acid were the main phenolics in the soluble and insoluble fraction, respectively. Procyanidin B levels decreased while bound ferulic acid content increased during germination. Germinated barley flours exhibited lower brightness and a higher glycemic index than the control ones. This study shows that germination at 16 °C for 3.5 days was the optimum process to obtain nutritious and functional barley flours. Under these conditions, sprouts retained 87% of the initial β-glucan content, and exhibited levels of ascorbic acid, riboflavin, phenolic compounds and GABA between 1.4-fold and 2.5-fold higher than the non-sprouted grain.
    • Symposium review: Lactococcus lactis from nondairy sources: Their genetic and metabolic diversity and potential applications in cheese

      McAuliffe, Olivia; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; Dairy Research Ireland; EU Marie Curie Actions Clarin Co-Fund; Irish Research Council for Science, Engineering and Technology; European Union (Elsevier, 2018-02-13)
      The widespread dissemination of species of the lactic acid bacteria (LAB) group in different environments testifies to their extraordinary niche adaptability. Members of the LAB are present on grass and other plant material, in dairy products, on human skin, and in the gastrointestinal and reproductive tracts. The selective pressure imparted by these specific environments is a key driver in the genomic diversity observed between strains of the same species deriving from distinct habitats. Strains that are exploited in the dairy industry for the production of fermented dairy products are often referred to as “domesticated” strains. These strains, which initially may have occupied a nondairy niche, have become specialized for growth in the milk environment. In fact, comparative genome analysis of multiple LAB species and strains has revealed a central trend in LAB evolution: the loss of ancestral genes and metabolic simplification toward adaptation to nutritionally rich environments. In contrast, “environmental” strains, or those from raw milk, plants, and animals, exhibit diverse metabolic capabilities and lifestyle characteristics compared with their domesticated counterparts. Because of the limited number of established dairy strains used in fermented food production today, demand is increasing for novel strains, with concerted efforts to mine the microbiota of natural environments for strains of technological interest. Many studies have concentrated on uncovering the genomic and metabolic potential of these organisms, facilitating comparative genome analysis of strains from diverse environments and providing insight into the natural diversity of the LAB, a group of organisms that is at the core of the dairy industry. The natural biodiversity that exists in these environments may be exploited in dairy fermentations to expand flavor profiles, to produce natural “clean label” ingredients, or to develop safer products.
    • Tn6188 - A Novel Transposon in Listeria monocytogenes Responsible for Tolerance to Benzalkonium Chloride

      Muller, Anneliese; Rychli, Kathrin; Muhterem-Uyar, Meryem; Zaiser, Andreas; Stessl, Beatrix; Guinane, Caitriona M.; Cotter, Paul D.; Wagner, Martin; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan; Austrian Science Fund; et al. (PLOS, 02/10/2013)
      Controlling the food-borne pathogen Listeria (L.) monocytogenes is of great importance from a food safety perspective, and thus for human health. The consequences of failures in this regard have been exemplified by recent large listeriosis outbreaks in the USA and Europe. It is thus particularly notable that tolerance to quaternary ammonium compounds such as benzalkonium chloride (BC) has been observed in many L. monocytogenes strains. However, the molecular determinants and mechanisms of BC tolerance of L. monocytogenes are still largely unknown. Here we describe Tn6188, a novel transposon in L. monocytogenes conferring tolerance to BC. Tn6188 is related to Tn554 from Staphylococcus (S.) aureus and other Tn554-like transposons such as Tn558, Tn559 and Tn5406 found in various Firmicutes. Tn6188 comprises 5117 bp, is integrated chromosomally within the radC gene and consists of three transposase genes (tnpABC) as well as genes encoding a putative transcriptional regulator and QacH, a small multidrug resistance protein family (SMR) transporter putatively associated with export of BC that shows high amino acid identity to Smr/QacC from S. aureus and to EmrE from Escherichia coli. We screened 91 L. monocytogenes strains for the presence of Tn6188 by PCR and found Tn6188 in 10 of the analyzed strains. These isolates were from food and food processing environments and predominantly from serovar 1/2a. L. monocytogenes strains harboring Tn6188 had significantly higher BC minimum inhibitory concentrations (MICs) (28.5 ± 4.7 mg/l) than strains without Tn6188 (14 ± 3.2 mg/l). Using quantitative reverse transcriptase PCR we could show a significant increase in qacH expression in the presence of BC. QacH deletion mutants were generated in two L. monocytogenes strains and growth analysis revealed that ΔqacH strains had lower BC MICs than wildtype strains. In conclusion, our results provide evidence that Tn6188 is responsible for BC tolerance in various L. monocytogenes strains.
    • Tracking the Dairy Microbiota from Farm Bulk Tank to Skimmed Milk Powder

      McHugh, Aoife; Feehily, Conor; Fenelon, Mark; Gleeson, David E; Hill, Colin; Cotter, Paul D.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; 14/F/883; et al. (American Society for Microbiology, 2020-04-07)
      Microorganisms from the environment can enter the dairy supply chain at multiple stages, including production, milk collection, and processing, with potential implications for quality and safety. The ability to track these microorganisms can be greatly enhanced by the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing (HTS). Here HTS, both 16S rRNA gene amplicon and shotgun metagenomic sequencing were applied to investigate the microbiomes of fresh mid- and late-lactation milk collected from farm bulk tanks, collection tankers, milk silos, skimmed milk silos, a cream silo, and powder samples to investigate the microbial changes throughout a skim milk powder manufacturing process. 16S rRNA gene analysis established that the microbiota of raw milks from farm bulk tanks and in collection tankers were very diverse but that psychrotrophic genera associated with spoilage, Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter, were present in all samples. Upon storage within the whole-milk silo at the processing facility, the species Pseudomonas fluorescens and Acinetobacter baumannii became dominant. The skimmed milk powder generated during the mid-lactation period had a microbial composition that was very different from that of raw milk; specifically, two thermophilic genera, Thermus and Geobacillus, were enriched. In contrast, the microbiota of skimmed milk powder generated from late-lactation milk more closely resembled that of the raw milk and was dominated by spoilage-associated psychrotrophic bacteria. This study demonstrates that the dairy microbiota can differ significantly across different sampling days. More specifically, HTS can be used to trace microbial species from raw milks through processing to final powdered products.
    • Tracking the Dairy Microbiota from Farm Bulk Tank to Skimmed Milk Powder.

      McHugh, Aoife; Feehily, Conor; Fenelon, Mark; Gleeson, David E; Hill, Colin; Cotter, Paul D.; Department of Agriculture, Food and the Marine; Science Foundation Ireland; European Union; 14/F/883; et al. (American Society for Microbiology, 2020-04-07)
      Microorganisms from the environment can enter the dairy supply chain at multiple stages, including production, milk collection, and processing, with potential implications for quality and safety. The ability to track these microorganisms can be greatly enhanced by the use of high-throughput DNA sequencing (HTS). Here HTS, both 16S rRNA gene amplicon and shotgun metagenomic sequencing were applied to investigate the microbiomes of fresh mid- and late-lactation milk collected from farm bulk tanks, collection tankers, milk silos, skimmed milk silos, a cream silo, and powder samples to investigate the microbial changes throughout a skim milk powder manufacturing process. 16S rRNA gene analysis established that the microbiota of raw milks from farm bulk tanks and in collection tankers were very diverse but that psychrotrophic genera associated with spoilage, Pseudomonas and Acinetobacter, were present in all samples. Upon storage within the whole-milk silo at the processing facility, the species Pseudomonas fluorescens and Acinetobacter baumannii became dominant. The skimmed milk powder generated during the mid-lactation period had a microbial composition that was very different from that of raw milk; specifically, two thermophilic genera, Thermus and Geobacillus, were enriched. In contrast, the microbiota of skimmed milk powder generated from late-lactation milk more closely resembled that of the raw milk and was dominated by spoilage-associated psychrotrophic bacteria. This study demonstrates that the dairy microbiota can differ significantly across different sampling days. More specifically, HTS can be used to trace microbial species from raw milks through processing to final powdered products.IMPORTANCE Microorganisms can enter and persist in dairy at several stages of the processing chain. Detection of microorganisms within dairy food processing is currently a time-consuming and often inaccurate process. This study provides evidence that high-throughput sequencing can be used as an effective tool to accurately identify microorganisms along the processing chain. In addition, it demonstrates that the populations of microbes change from raw milk to the end product. Routine implementation of high-throughput sequencing would elucidate the factors that influence population dynamics. This will enable a manufacturer to adopt control measures specific to each stage of processing and respond in an effective manner, which would ultimately lead to increased food safety and quality.
    • Transcriptome analysis of Listeria monocytogenes exposed to biocide stress reveals a multi-system response involving cell wall synthesis, sugar uptake, and motility

      Casey, A.; Fox, Edward M.; Schmitz-Esser, Stephan; Coffey, Aidan; McAuliffe, Olivia; Jordan, Kieran; European Union; Teagasc Walsh Fellowship Programme; 265877; 266061 (Frontiers Media SA, 28/02/2014)
      Listeria monocytogenes is a virulent food-borne pathogen most often associated with the consumption of “ready-to-eat” foods. The organism is a common contaminant of food processing plants where it may persist for extended periods of time. A commonly used approach for the control of Listeria monocytogenes in the processing environment is the application of biocides such as quaternary ammonium compounds. In this study, the transcriptomic response of a persistent strain of L. monocytogenes (strain 6179) on exposure to a sub-lethal concentration of the quaternary ammonium compound benzethonium chloride (BZT) was assessed. Using RNA-Seq, gene expression levels were quantified by sequencing the transcriptome of L. monocytogenes 6179 in the presence (4 ppm) and absence of BZT, and mapping each data set to the sequenced genome of strain 6179. Hundreds of differentially expressed genes were identified, and subsequent analysis suggested that many biological processes such as peptidoglycan biosynthesis, bacterial chemotaxis and motility, and carbohydrate uptake, were involved in the response of L. monocyotogenes to the presence of BZT. The information generated in this study further contributes to our understanding of the response of bacteria to environmental stress. In addition, this study demonstrates the importance of using the bacterium's own genome as a reference when analysing RNA-Seq data.
    • Virulence Gene Sequencing Highlights Similarities and Differences in Sequences in Listeria monocytogenes Serotype 1/2a and 4b Strains of Clinical and Food Origin From 3 Different Geographic Locations

      Poimenidou, Sofia V.; Dalmasso, Marion; Papadimitriou, Konstantinos; Fox, Edward M.; Skandamis, Panagiotis N.; Jordan, Kieran; European Union; 265877 (Frontiers, 2018-06-05)
      The prfA-virulence gene cluster (pVGC) is the main pathogenicity island in Listeria monocytogenes, comprising the prfA, plcA, hly, mpl, actA, and plcB genes. In this study, the pVGC of 36 L. monocytogenes isolates with respect to different serotypes (1/2a or 4b), geographical origin (Australia, Greece or Ireland) and isolation source (food-associated or clinical) was characterized. The most conserved genes were prfA and hly, with the lowest nucleotide diversity (π) among all genes (P < 0.05), and the lowest number of alleles, substitutions and non-synonymous substitutions for prfA. Conversely, the most diverse gene was actA, which presented the highest number of alleles (n = 20) and showed the highest nucleotide diversity. Grouping by serotype had a significantly lower π value (P < 0.0001) compared to isolation source or geographical origin, suggesting a distinct and well-defined unit compared to other groupings. Among all tested genes, only hly and mpl were those with lower nucleotide diversity in 1/2a serotype than 4b serotype, reflecting a high within-1/2a serotype divergence compared to 4b serotype. Geographical divergence was noted with respect to the hly gene, where serotype 4b Irish strains were distinct from Greek and Australian strains. Australian strains showed less diversity in plcB and mpl relative to Irish or Greek strains. Notable differences regarding sequence mutations were identified between food-associated and clinical isolates in prfA, actA, and plcB sequences. Overall, these results indicate that virulence genes follow different evolutionary pathways, which are affected by a strain's origin and serotype and may influence virulence and/or epidemiological dominance of certain subgroups.
    • Whey proteins: targets of oxidation, or mediators of redox protection.

      Giblin, Linda; Yalçın, A Süha; Biçim, Gökhan; Krämer, Anna C; Chen, Zhifei; Callanan, Michael J; Arranz, Elena; Davies, Michael J; European Cooperation in Science and Technology; Novo Nordisk Foundation; et al. (Taylor and Francis, 2019-01-01)
      Bovine whey proteins are highly valued dairy ingredients. This is primarily due to their amino acid content, digestibility, bioactivities and their processing characteristics. One of the reported bioactivities of whey proteins is antioxidant activity. Numerous dietary intervention trials with humans and animals indicate that consumption of whey products can modulate redox biomarkers to reduce oxidative stress. This bioactivity has in part been assigned to whey peptides using a range of biochemical or cellular assays in vitro. Superimposing whey peptide sequences from gastrointestinal samples, with whey peptides proven to be antioxidant in vitro, allows us to propose peptides from whey likely to exhibit antioxidant activity in the diet. However, whey proteins themselves are targets of oxidation during processing particularly when exposed to high thermal loads and/or extensive processing (e.g. infant formula manufacture). Oxidative damage of whey proteins can be selective with regard to the residues that are modified and are associated with the degree of protein unfolding, with α-Lactalbumin more susceptible than β-Lactoglobulin. Such oxidative damage may have adverse effects on human health. This review summarises how whey proteins can modulate cellular redox pathways and conversely how whey proteins can be oxidised during processing. Given the extensive processing steps that whey proteins are often subjected to, we conclude that oxidation during processing is likely to compromise the positive health attributes associated with whey proteins.