Acta bioquímica clínica latinoamericana
versión impresa ISSN 0325-2957
MARGUET, Emilio Rogelio; VALLEJO, Marisol y OLIVERA, Nelda Lila. Virulence factors of Enterococcus strains isolated from ovine cheese. Acta bioquím. clín. latinoam. [online]. 2008, vol.42, n.4, pp. 543-548. ISSN 0325-2957.
Enterococci are used as starter and probiotic cultures in the food industry, and they occur as natural food contaminants. However, the genus Enterococcus is of increased significance as a cause of nosocomial infections, exacerbated by the development of antibiotic resistance. In order to study the potential virulence of eight Enterococcus faecium strains and two Enterococcus faecalis strains isolated from ovine cheese, vancomicine resistance, hemolytic activity and gelatinase activity were investigated. In addition, polymerase chain reaction (PCR) tests were carried out in order to determine the presence of cytolicyn gene cylB, gelatinase gene gelE, sex pheromone gene cpd and aggregation protein gene agg. None of the strains showed vancomicine resistance or hemolitic activity. Gene cylB could not be identified by PCR amplification in any of the strains studied. The presence of gene gelE was found in seven E. faecium strains and in one E. faecalis strain, however in no case was gelatinase activity detected. Gene cpd was detected in E. faecium ETw7 and E. faecalis ETw23, while gene agg was found in E. faecium ETw7 and E. faecalis ETw27. These results suggest that the introduction of food products or probiotics based on the use of enterococal strains requires careful safety evaluations.
Palabras clave : Enterococcus; Ovine cheese; Virulence factors.