Category Archives: Enterococcus

Research – Detection of pathogenic bacteria and fungi on biometric surface of Automated Teller Machines located in Brazilian public hospital

Academic Journals

The Automated Teller Machine (ATM) is used by millions of people as an alternative to gain time instead of using traditional banking systems in Brazil and ATMs are frequently localized in São Paulo city around the hospitals. However, ATMs might be potential devices for microbial accumulation and transmission in the community. The objective of the present study was to evaluate forty-two ATMs, in two hospital areas (A and B) in São Paulo city for the presence of pathogenic fungi and bacteria. Samples were collected from biometric surfaces of the devices with sterile cotton swabs soaked in the sterile physiologic saline and were cultured on selective agar for yeasts, filamentous fungi and bacteria in the period of January 2017 to March 2018. Complementary biochemical tests were applied to confirm the bacteria and the taxonomic identification of molds was performed considering the morphological characteristics by microscopic observation. Our results suggest that the biometric surfaces in ATMs is an important environmental source of microbes, once that the genera Staphylococcus was predominant in all agencies of both hospital areas (83.3%), following of Streptococcus spp. (57%) and Enterococcus spp. (50%). The group of Enterobacteriaceae (Gram negative bacilli) were most frequent in both areas studied (57%). Seven different fungi genera were isolated from ATMs in area A and B and yeasts were predominant in all samples collected (47%), comparing with filamentous fungi (23%). We conclude that biometric ATM surfaces play an important role in microbial transmission in hospital settings, and healthcare professionals should wash and disinfect their hands carefully before touching patients.


Research – Microbiological and chemical quality of ice used to preserve fish in Lisbon marketplaces

Wiley Online


Ice is widely used to preserve fish on markets, playing a major role in the food industry. If manufactured, stored or distributed in inadequate sanitary conditions, it can represent a considerable health risk for both consumers and professionals. The present study characterizes ice used in marketplaces, on microbiological and chemical parameters. The aim was to assess potential risks on occupational exposure and consumer safety and therewith plan orientation guidelines. Sampling took place in 18 marketplaces in Lisbon, with ice samples collected at three different stages—production (n = 29), storage (n = 30), and product‐contact (n = 29). No significant contamination was found in production and storage stages, demonstrating that ice production and storage procedures are adequate regarding sanitary conditions. With exception for Salmonella, significantly higher concentrations of microbial parameters were identified in product‐contact stages, specifically Total Coliforms (548 MPN/100 mL), Escherichia coli (1 MPN/100 mL), Enterococci (29 MPN/100 mL), Staphylococcus aureus (271 CFU/100 mL), HPC at 5°, 22°, and 37° (>301 CFU/mL). Our study also shows that the majority of samples from ice production and storage comply with national regulations regarding drinking water quality. Yet, occupational health and consumer risks may still exist at the final product‐contact stage, as significant contamination was detected..

Practical applications

The present study can be used as a model for ice quality monitoring in fish preservation, serving as a tool for quality control and fast contamination detection during the several process stages.

This monitoring model is an important contribution for assuring the safety of the preserved products, as well as, occupational health improvement and consumer risk protection.

Research – Anti-adhesion of probiotic Enterococcus faecium WEFA23 against five pathogens and the beneficial effect of its S-layer proteins against Listeria monocytogenes

Canadian Journal of Microbiology

Enterococcus faecium WEFA23 is a potential probiotic strain isolated from Chinese infant feces. In this study, the antagonistic activity of Efaecium WEFA23 on adhesion to pathogens was investigated. Enterococcus faecium WEFA23 was able to compete, exclude, and displace the adhesion of Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella Typhimurium ATCC 13311, Listeria monocytogenes CMCC54007, Staphylococcus aureus CMCC26003, and Shigella sonnei ATCC 25931 to Caco-2 cells. Among them, Lmonocytogenes achieved the strongest inhibition rate in both competition and displacement assays. Those anti-adhesion capacities were related to the bacterial physicochemical properties (hydrophobicity, auto-aggregation, and co-aggregation) of the bacterial surface. For L. monocytogenes, the anti-adhesion capacity was affected by the heat treatment, cell density, and growth phase of E. faecium WEFA23; 108 colony-forming units of viable cells per millilitre at the stationary phase exhibited the strongest anti-adhesion activity. In addition, removal of S-layer proteins of E. faecium WEFA23 by treatment with 5 mol/L LiCl significantly decreased its adhesion capacity, and those S-layer proteins were able to compete, displace, and exclude L. monocytogenes at different levels. Both cells and S-layer proteins of E. faecium WEFA23 significantly reduced the apoptosis of Caco-2 cells induced by L. monocytogenes, which was mediated by caspase-3 activation. This study might be helpful in understanding the anti-adhesion mechanism of probiotics against pathogens.

RASFF Alert – Enterococcus – Crushed Ice


RASFF – Enterococcus (42 CFU/250ml) in crushed ice from Italy in Italy


UK – Publication of survey of antimicrobial resistance in bacteria in chicken and pork


We have today published the results of a survey we commissioned to assess the amount of antimicrobial resistance (AMR) in bacteria in fresh pork mince and fresh and frozen chicken on sale in shops in the UK. These findings will help to establish a baseline of the occurrence, types and levels of AMR in bacteria found in these UK retail meats which will inform future surveillance on AMR in these foods.

This survey follows on from an authoritative report by a group established by the Advisory Committee on Microbiological Safety of Food (ACMSF) to advise us on research questions and potential approaches to AMR in the food chain.

The survey involved the testing of Campylobacter in chicken samples and Salmonella in pork mince samples for the occurrence of antimicrobial resistant bacteria. The survey also looked for AMR in other bacteria in both types of meat including Enterococci, Klebsiella and Escherichia coli.  Read the final report of the survey.

Research – Kitchen Towel As Risk Factor for Home Based Food Poisoning

Abstracts Online

Background: Cross contamination in the kitchen could contribute to home-based food poisoning. This study aimed at investigating the potential role of kitchen towels in cross contamination in the kitchen. Methods: A total of 100 kitchen towels were collected after one month of use. The bacteria were cultured and identified by standard biochemical tests. A questionnaire was also designed to investigate the potential risk factors which could affect the result. Results:  Bacterial growth was found in 49% of the kitchen towels and significantly increased by size of family, extended family and presence on children. Multipurpose towels had higher CFU than single use towels (1.31 x 107 vs 6.60 x 104; p<0.05) and humid towels had higher CFU than dry ones (4.8 x 105 vs 0.5x 105; p<0.05). The mean CFU from the towels was found to be 2.76 x 105 and was significantly higher from the cotton towels (4.98 x 105) compared to the nylon (1.64 x 105) and mixture of both towels (1.89 x 105). Out of the 49 samples which were positive for bacterial growth, 36.7% grew coliforms, 36.7% Enterococcus spp., 30.6% Pseudomonas spp., 28.6% grew Bacillus spp., 14.3% S. aureus, 4.1% Proteus spp., 2.0% coagulase negative Staphylococcus. Furthermore, S. aureus was isolated at higher rate from families of lower socio-economic status (p<0.05) and those with children (p<0.05). The risk of having coliforms was twice on humid towels than the dried ones. It was also noted that as the CFU increased, the detection rate of coliform, Enterococcus spp., Proteus spp. and Bacillus spp. also increased significantly. Furthermore, Enterococcus spp. and S. aureus were isolated at higher prevalence in bigger families (p<0.05). Diet was also found to be an important factor. Coliform and S. aureus were detected at significantly higher prevalence from families on non-vegetarian diets while a higher prevalence of Enterococcus species from the kitchen towels of vegetarian families. Conclusions: This study conclude that kitchen towels could be very important source bacterial contamination which could contribute to food poisoning. The multipurpose usage of kitchen towels should be discouraged.

Research – Effect of microbial control measures on farmstead cheesemaking and antimicrobial resistance of Staphylococcus aureus and Enterococcus spp. isolates

Wiley Online


The effect of microbial control measures in farmstead cheese making was evaluated in a small dairy farm in Gyeong‐gi province, Korea. Teat washing and pasteurization significantly (p < .05) reduced the level of indicator bacteria (mesophilic aerobes, total coliforms, and Escherichia coli). However, farmstead cheeses were contaminated with increased levels of mesophilic aerobes, total coliforms, Staphylococcus aureus, and Enterococcus faecium during post‐pasteurization steps, including the cheesemaking process and ripening. S. aureus isolates from cheese samples exhibited antibiotic resistance to penicillin/ampicillin, whereas teat and milk samples showed resistance to erythromycin/ciprofloxacin. Enterococcus spp. isolates had the highest proportion of organisms resistant to erythromycin and tetracycline among multidrug‐resistant strains. To ensure the safety of farmstead cheese, customized management systems and intervention methods should be established by focusing on control measures for not only preprocessing and pasteurization but also post‐pasteurization steps.

Practical applications

Owing to renewed interest in specialty cheeses, small‐scale farmstead cheeses are actively produced worldwide. However, because of various manufacturing steps, including milking, pasteurization, ripening, and storage, farmstead cheese could pose a high risk for the presence of foodborne pathogens. In the current study, teat washing and milk pasteurization effectively reduced microbial contamination loads. However, farmstead cheeses were contaminated post‐pasteurization with increased levels of indicator and pathogenic microorganisms. Comprehensive management systems should be implemented and should focus not only on preprocessing and pasteurization but also on post‐pasteurization steps to ensure the safety of farmstead cheese.