Differential outgrowth potential of Clostridium perfringens food-borne isolates with various cpe-genotypes in vacuum-packed ground beef during storage at 12°C

Y. Xiao, A. Wagendorp, T. Abee, M.H.J. Wells-Bennik

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9 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

In the current study, the outgrowth of spores of 15 different food isolates of Clostridium perfringens was evaluated in vacuum-packed ground beef during storage at 12 °C and 25 °C. This included enterotoxic strains carrying the gene encoding the CPE enterotoxin on the chromosome (C-cpe), on a plasmid (P-cpe) and cpe-negative strains. The 15 strains were selected from a larger group of strains that were first evaluated for their ability to sporulate in modified Duncan–Strong sporulating medium. Sporulation ability varied greatly between strains but was not associated with a particular cpe genotype. In line with previous studies, the tested C-cpe strains produced spores with significantly higher heat resistance than the cpe-negative and P-cpe strains (both IS1151 and IS1470-like) with the exception of strain VWA009. Following inoculation of vacuum-packed cooked ground beef with spores, the heat-resistant C-cpe strains showed lower outgrowth potential in this model food stored at 12 °C than the P-cpe and cpe-negative strains, while no significant differences were observed at 25 °C. These results suggest that the latter strains may have a competitive advantage over C-cpe strains at reduced temperatures during storage of foods that support the growth of C. perfringens. While spores of P-cpe strains are readily inactivated by heat processing, post-processing contamination by food handlers who may carry P-cpe strains that have a better growth potential at lower temperatures must be avoided. The varying responses of C. perfringens spores to heat and the differences in outgrowth capacity at different temperatures are factors to be considered in strain selection for challenge tests, and for predictive modelling of C. perfringens.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)40-45
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Volume194
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 2015

Keywords

  • enterotoxin gene
  • multiplex pcr
  • heat-resistance
  • cooked beef
  • a strains
  • plasmid
  • growth
  • spores
  • sporulation
  • expression

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