High Incidence of Enterotoxin D Producing Staphylococcus spp. in Brazilian Cow's Raw Milk and Its Relation with Coagulase and Thermonuclease Enzymes
MetadataShow full item record
In this study, the enterotoxigenic potential of Staphylococcus strains (n = 574) isolated from raw milk samples (n = 140) was determined for their capacity to produce staphylococcal enterotoxins. In addition, the relationship between the presence of enterotoxins, coagulase, and thermonuclease (Tnase) was assessed. The results showed that 19% of Staphylococcus was enterotoxigenic, being able to produce at least one of the staphylococcal enterotoxins (A, B, C, and D). Most of the strains were able to produce enterotoxin D (68.8%), whereas 12.8% of the Staphylococcus strains were able to produce staphylococcal enterotoxin A. Besides, the production of more than one type of enterotoxins by the same strain was observed. Tnase was considered the best marker for enterotoxigenic potential of isolates, although some of them were negative for coagulase and Tnase but positive for enterotoxin production. Therefore, either the use of Tnase to assess Staphylococcus enterotoxigenic potential or the use of simple and easy screening tests for enterotoxin production should receive more attention when evaluating the pathogenic potential of foodborne Staphylococcus strains. Due to the association of both coagulase positive Staphylococcus and coagulase negative Staphylococcus with foodborne disease outbreaks, regulators and industries should pay more attention to enterotoxigenic Staphylococcus rather than focusing only on S. aureus or coagulase positive Staphylococcus. Finally, data found here suggest a high risk of staphylococcal intoxication with the consumption of raw milk or dairy products made from raw milk.