Expression of staphylococcal enterotoxins under stress encountered during food production and preservation

Research output: Contribution to journalReview article

Abstract

Staphylococcal food poisoning (SFP) is the most prevalent cause of food-borne intoxications worldwide. Consumption of enterotoxins preformed in food causes violent vomiting and can be fatal in children and the elderly. While being repressed by competing bacteria in most matrices, Staphylococcus aureus benefits from crucial competitive advantages in foods with high osmolarity or low pH. During recent years, the long-standing belief in the feasibility of assessing SFP risk based on colony-forming units of S. aureus present in food products has been disproven. Instead, researchers and food business operators are acutely aware of the imminent threat arising from unforeseeable enterotoxin production under stress conditions. This paradigm shift led to a variety of new publications enabling an improved understanding of enterotoxin expression under stress conditions encountered in food. The wealth of data provided by these studies is extremely diverse, as it is based on different methodological approaches, staphylococcal strains, stressors, and enterotoxins. Therefore, in this review, we aggregated and critically evaluated the complex findings of these studies, to provide readers with a current overview of the state of research in the field.

Details

Authors
Organisations
External organisations
  • University of Zurich
Research areas and keywords

Subject classification (UKÄ) – MANDATORY

  • Microbiology in the medical area

Keywords

  • Enterotoxin, Regulatory circuits, Staphylococcal food poisoning, Staphylococcus aureus, Strain specific variation
Original languageEnglish
Article number401
JournalToxins
Volume9
Issue number12
Publication statusPublished - 2017 Dec 15
Publication categoryResearch
Peer-reviewedYes