Staff Publications

Staff Publications

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    'Staff publications' is the digital repository of Wageningen University & Research

    'Staff publications' contains references to publications authored by Wageningen University staff from 1976 onward.

    Publications authored by the staff of the Research Institutes are available from 1995 onwards.

    Full text documents are added when available. The database is updated daily and currently holds about 240,000 items, of which 72,000 in open access.

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    Bacillus cereus growth and biofilm formation: the impact of substratum, iron sources, and transcriptional regulator Sigma 54
    Hayrapetyan, Hasmik - \ 2017
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): T. Abee, co-promotor(en): M.N. Nierop Groot. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789463431194 - 181
    microorganisms - bacillus cereus - food contamination - biofilms - foodborne pathogens - abiotic conditions - sporulation - micro-organismen - bacillus cereus - voedselbesmetting - biofilms - voedselpathogenen - abiotiek - sporulatie

    Biofilms are surface-associated communities of microbial cells embedded in a matrix of extracellular polymers. It is generally accepted that the biofilm growth mode represents the most common lifestyle of microorganisms. Next to beneficial biofilms used in biotechnology applications, undesired biofilms can be formed by spoilage and pathogenic microorganisms in food production environments. Bacillus cereus is a foodborne human pathogen able to cause two types of food poisoning, emetic and diarrheal. B. cereus can persist in factory environments in the form of biofilms, which can become a source of food contamination. This thesis adds to the knowledge about (a)biotic factors and conditions that affect B. cereus biofilm formation, including the effect of type of substratum such as polystyrene and stainless steel, with the latter supporting the highest biofilm formation for all tested strains including two reference strains and 20 food isolates. The ability of B. cereus to use a variety of iron sources was subsequently studied in these 22 strains and linked to the genes encoding iron transport systems present in the respective genomes, revealing significant diversity in the capacity to use complex and non-complex iron sources for growth and biofilm formation. For spore forming Bacilli, biofilm formation and sporulation are two intertwined cellular processes and studies in wet and dry (air-exposed) biofilms revealed differences in sporulation rate and efficacy, with biofilm-derived spores showing higher heat resistance than their planktonic counterparts. Additionally, comparative phenotype and transcriptome analysis of B. cereus wild type and a Sigma 54 deletion mutant provided insight into the pleiotropic role of this transcriptional regulator in B. cereus biofilm formation and physiology in general. Taken together, this knowledge improves our understanding of the biofilm lifecycle of this notorious food-borne human pathogen and provides clues which can help to reduce the domestication of this microorganism in production environments.

    Improvement of methods for the detection of Gram-negative foodborne pathogens
    Margot, H.F.T. - \ 2016
    Wageningen University. Promotor(en): Marcel Zwietering; Han Joosten, co-promotor(en): R. Stephan. - Wageningen : Wageningen University - ISBN 9789462578708 - 158
    gram negative bacteria - pathogens - foodborne pathogens - detection - real time pcr - salmonella - escherichia coli - mung beans - gramnegatieve bacteriën - pathogenen - voedselpathogenen - detectie - real time pcr - salmonella - escherichia coli - mungbonen

    Foodborne diseases are a major source of morbidity and mortality worldwide. In most cases, these diseases are caused by contaminated food products, but transmission can also subsequently occur via person to person contact. The ability to detect the pathogens is an important aspect in the verification of food safety. A major proportion of foodborne disease is caused by Gram-negative bacteria. In this thesis, the detection of Gram-negative foodborne pathogens is addressed by looking at the successive steps from enrichment to detection with Salmonella, Shiga toxin-producing E. coli and Cronobacter spp. as example pathogens. The detection of foodborne pathogens using microbiological culture media aiming at the resuscitation and growth of bacteria is still regarded as the gold standard and included in many reference methods. However, cultural methods are time and labour-intensive. Since an immediate response is required in case of contamination and during outbreaks there is a strong interest in methods that deliver information on the microbiological status of the product as quickly and reliable as possible. Rapid cultural methods and commercially available real-time PCR systems for the detection of Salmonella and STEC were compared with regards to their sensitivity and specificity. It was shown that most of the marketed systems are as reliable as the standard methods. However, false-positive results were obtained with real-time PCR systems for the detection of Salmonella. Rapid cultural methods that were based on procedures without the pre-enrichment step, reduced the time to detection but did show some ambiguous results with difficult matrices such as tea. Of the seven rapid tests for the detection of STEC, one did not detect relevant Stx subtypes.

    In order to be detected, pathogens need to multiply to reach a minimum threshold level. However, because they are often sublethally injured due to hostile processing and storage conditions, they first need to be resuscitated. For most pathogens, (Salmonella, STEC and Cronobacter spp.) the first step in the detection is an enrichment including resuscitation in a non-selective medium such as BPW. Modifications to BPW were compared with respect to their ability to promote growth of unstressed and stressed Gram-negative pathogens. The aim was to develop a medium that could be used for the enrichment of pathogens in horizontal methods using only one enrichment step. The resuscitation of stressed Cronobacter cells was improved in BPW supplemented with an additional iron source and sodium pyruvate along with low levels of compounds for the inhibition of Gram-positive bacteria. However, it was observed that BPW containing these supplements allowed for less resuscitation of STEC when compared to regular BPW. Based on these results it was concluded that the application of a one-broth enrichment in food products with a high number of competing bacteria is not recommended due to the overgrowth of the target bacteria. Limitations of the current method for the detection of STEC from sprouted seeds were noticed. Therefore, the growth of stressed STEC cells from different serotypes was assessed in media used for the enrichment of Enterobacteriaceae. In addition, the growth of STEC was examined in the enrichment of sprouts using different media and incubation temperatures. It was shown that the high level of competitors was inhibiting the detection of the target pathogen and that the similarity of target and competing bacteria prevents the design of a selective enrichment procedure. In order to get a better insight in the enrichment ecology, the microbiome of mungo bean sprouts was analysed using Illumina HiSeq sequencing prior to and during the enrichment in BPW and EE-broth at different temperatures. The majority of the sprout flora was composed of bacteria belonging to the phylum Proteobacteria. Enrichment in BPW increased the proportion of Firmicutes whereas the incubation in EE-broth enriched Proteobacteria. The results point out that with the application of a selective medium like EE-broth, growth of the competitive microflora that complicates the detection of STEC is promoted. It was shown that EE-broth also resulted in good growth of STEC however, the problematic situation of low maximum population densities of the target strain in the matrix is still present. The probability of detection is not only influenced by the natural flora of a food product, but also by the physiological state of the pathogen. The influence of stress on the lag time of single cells and the resulting probability of detection were determined for Cronobacter spp. in powdered infant formula. Lag time was calculated from optical density measurement data and different scenarios were modelled. Lag time was longest after acid stress and lag time increase coincided with increased lag time variability. The probability of detection, however, depended both on the sampling plan and on the duration of the lag phase.

    This thesis provides a critical evaluation of rapid methods and valuable new insights on enrichment procedures, the role of competitors in bacterial enrichment procedures and the limitations of selective agents. This information will be of great help to further improve microbiological methods and thereby contribute to more effective management of food safety.

    Salmonella spp. in the feed chain in the Netherlands : monitoring results of five years (2008 to 2012)
    Yassin, H. ; Adamse, P. ; Fels, H.J. van der - \ 2015
    Wageningen : RIKILT Wageningen UR (RIKILT report 2015.005) - 131
    salmonella - voedselpathogenen - veevoederindustrie - voer - voederveiligheid - voedselonderzoek - monitoring - salmonella - foodborne pathogens - feed industry - feeds - feed safety - food research - monitoring
    Salmonella spp. is an important food-borne pathogen in humans. In the Netherlands, monitoring Salmonella spp. in the feed and food chain has become an important issue since 1997. Monitoring results from different sectors, such as broiler meat and eggs, are analysed annually to determine the prevalence of Salmonella spp. The objective of this study was to analyse Salmonella spp. prevalence in feed materials in the Netherlands during the years 2008-2012. Data from the Dutch feed industry, stored in the GMP+ monitoring database, were provided by the Dutch Product Board Animal Feed for use in the current study. These data included results of, on average, 10080 compound feed and 9109 feed material samples per year. This high total number of samples reflects the intensive monitoring program in the Netherlands.
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