Category Archives: MRSA

Research – Microbiological Quality and Safety of Fresh Turkey Meat at Retail Level, Including the Presence of ESBL-Producing Enterobacteriaceae and Methicillin-Resistant S. aureus



The aim of this work was to study the microbiological safety and quality of marketed fresh turkey meat, with special emphasis on methicillin-resistant S. aureus, ESBL-producing E. coli, and K. pneumoniae. A total of 51 fresh turkey meat samples were collected at retail level in Spain. Mesophile, Pseudomonas spp., enterococci, Enterobacteriaceae, and staphylococci counts were 5.10 ± 1.36, 3.17 ± 0.87, 2.03 ± 0.58, 3.18 ± 1.00, and 2.52 ± 0.96 log CFU/g, respectively. Neither Campylobacter spp. nor Clostridium perfringens was detected in any sample. ESBL-producing K. pneumoniae and E. coli were detected in 22 (43.14%), and three (5.88%) samples, respectively, all of which were multi-resistant. Resistance to antimicrobials of category A (monobactams, and glycilcyclines) and category B (cephalosporins of third or fourth generation, polymixins, and quinolones), according to the European Medicine Agency classification, was found among the Enterobacteriaceae isolates. S. aureus and methicillin-resistant S. aureus were detected in nine (17.65%) and four samples (7.84%), respectively. Resistance to antimicrobials of category A (mupirocin, linezolid, rifampicin, and vancomycin) and category B (cephalosporins of third- or fourth generation) was found among S. aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and M. caseolyticus isolates.

Research – Whole-Genome Analysis of Staphylococcus aureus Isolates from Ready-to-Eat Food in Russia


This study provides a thorough investigation of a diverse set of antimicrobial resistant (AMR) Staphylococcus aureus isolates collected from a broad range of ready-to-eat (RTE) food in various geographic regions of Russia ranging from Pskov to Kamchatka. Thirty-five isolates were characterized using the whole genome sequencing (WGS) analysis in terms of clonal structure, the presence of resistance and virulence determinants, as well as plasmid replicon sequences and CRISPR/Cas systems. To the best of our knowledge, this is the first WGS-based surveillance of Russian RTE food-associated S. aureus isolates. The isolates belonged to fifteen different multilocus sequence typing (MLST)-based types with a predominant being the ones of clonal complex (CC) 22. The isolates studied can pose a threat to public health since about 40% of the isolates carried at least one enterotoxin gene, and 70% of methicillin-resistant (MRSA) isolates carried a tsst1 gene encoding a toxin that may cause severe acute disease. In addition, plasmid analysis revealed some important characteristics, e.g., Rep5 and Rep20 plasmid replicons were a “signature” of MRSA CC22. By analyzing the isolates belonging to the same/single strain based on cgMLST analysis, we were able to identify the differences in their accessory genomes marking their dynamics and plasticity. This data is very important since S. aureus isolates studied and RTE food, in general, represent an important route of transmission and dissemination of multiple pathogenic determinants. We believe that the results obtained will facilitate performing epidemiological surveillance and developing protection measures against this important pathogen in community settings. View Full-Text

Research – Molecular Characterization of Staphylococcus aureus Strains Isolated from Mobile Phones



The widespread use of mobile phones (MP) among healthcare personnel might be considered as an important source of contamination. One of the most pathogenic bacteria to humans is Staphylococcus aureus, which can be transmitted through the constant use of MP. Nevertheless, which specific type of strains are transmitted and which are their sources have not been sufficiently studied. The aim of this study is to determine the source of contamination of MP and characterize the corresponding genotypic and phenotypic properties of the strains found. Nose, pharynx, and MP samples were taken from a group of health science students. We were able to determinate the clonality of the isolated strains by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) and spa gene typing (spa-type). Adhesin and toxin genes were detected, and the capacity of biofilm formation was determined. Several of the MP exhibited strains of S. aureus present in the nose and/or pharynx of their owners. methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus aureus (MSSA), hospital-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (HA-MRSA), and community-acquired methicillin-resistant S. aureus (CA-MRSA) strains were found, which indicated a variety of genotypes. This study concludes that MP can be contaminated with the strains of S. aureus present in the nose and/or pharynx of the owners; these strains can be of different types and there is no dominant genotype. View Full-Text

Research – Role of blue light in bactericidal effect against meat-borne pathogens and freshness maintaining of beef 

Journal of Food Protection

Beef is rich in various nutrients while easily spoils due to contamination by pathogens, thus it is of great significance to develop a bactericidal method to inactivate meat-borne pathogens and meanwhile maintain the freshness of beef. For the first time, the present study investigated the bactericidal effect of blue light (BL) at 415 nm against four meat-borne pathogens (methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus , Escherichia coli , Salmonella Typhimurium and Listeria monocytogenes ) in vitro and inoculated on the surface of fresh beef, respectively. When the non-illuminated beef was used as control, the population of the four pathogens did not change significantly ( P > 0.05), while BL-illuminated beef showed dose-dependent inactivation effect in both in vitro and in vivo studies. The experiments on beef cuts showed that 109.44 J/cm 2 of BL inactivated 90% of inoculated cells for the tested strains ( P < 0.05), and the impact of BL inactivation could be sustained in 7 days of cold storage. Notably, changes of lipid oxidation rate, water holding capacity and cooking loss value between the control and beef illuminated by 109.44 J/cm 2 at the same time were scarcely detected during the storage. BL had a minor but insignificant influence on surface color and free amino acid content. Moreover, the pH of illuminated beef increased slower ( P < 0.05) than that of non-illuminated beef. The present work demonstrated that BL could be a novel bactericidal and freshness-maintaining method for fresh beef.

Research – Ultrashort-pulse lasers kill bacterial superbugs, spores

Science Daily

Life-threatening bacteria are becoming ever more resistant to antibiotics, making the search for alternatives to antibiotics an increasingly urgent challenge. For certain applications, one alternative may be a special type of laser.

Researchers at Washington University School of Medicine in St. Louis have found that lasers that emit ultrashort pulses of light can kill multidrug-resistant bacteria and hardy bacterial spores. The findings, available online in the Journal of Biophotonics, open up the possibility of using such lasers to destroy bacteria that are hard to kill by other means. The researchers previously have shown that such lasers don’t damage human cells, making it possible to envision using the lasers to sterilize wounds or disinfect blood products.

“The ultrashort-pulse laser technology uniquely inactivates pathogens while preserving human proteins and cells,” said first author Shaw-Wei (David) Tsen, MD, PhD, an instructor of radiology at Washington University’s Mallinckrodt Institute of Radiology (MIR). “Imagine if, prior to closing a surgical wound, we could scan a laser beam across the site and further reduce the chances of infection. I can see this technology being used soon to disinfect biological products in vitro, and even to treat bloodstream infections in the future by putting patients on dialysis and passing the blood through a laser treatment device.”

Tsen and senior author Samuel Achilefu, PhD, the Michel M. Ter-Pogossian Professor of Radiology and director of MIR’s Biophotonics Research Center, have been exploring the germicidal properties of ultrashort-pulse lasers for years. They have shown that such lasers can inactivate viruses and ordinary bacteria without harming human cells. In the new study, conducted in collaboration with Shelley Haydel, PhD, a professor of microbiology at Arizona State University, they extended their exploration to antibiotic-resistant bacteria and bacterial spores.

The researchers trained their lasers on multidrug-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA), which causes infections of the skin, lungs and other organs, and extended spectrum beta-lactamase-producing Escherichia coli (E. coli), which cause urinary tract infections, diarrhea and wound infections. Apart from their shared ability to make people miserable, MRSA and E. coli are very different types of bacteria, representing two distant branches of the bacterial kingdom. The researchers also looked at spores of the bacterium Bacillus cereus, which causes food poisoning and food spoilage. Bacillus spores can withstand boiling and cooking.

In all cases, the lasers killed more than 99.9% of the target organisms, reducing their numbers by more than 1,000 times.

Viruses and bacteria contain densely packed protein structures that can be excited by an ultrashort-pulse laser. The laser kills by causing these protein structures to vibrate until some of their molecular bonds break. The broken ends quickly reattach to whatever they can find, which in many cases is not what they had been attached to before. The result is a mess of incorrect linkages inside and between proteins, and that mess causes normal protein function in microorganisms to grind to a halt.

“We previously published a paper in which we showed that the laser power matters,” Tsen said. “At a certain laser power, we’re inactivating viruses. As you increase the power, you start inactivating bacteria. But it takes even higher power than that, and we’re talking orders of magnitude, to start killing human cells. So there is a therapeutic window where we can tune the laser parameters such that we can kill pathogens without affecting the human cells.”

Heat, radiation and chemicals such as bleach are effective at sterilizing objects, but most are too damaging to be used on people or biological products. By inactivating all kinds of bacteria and viruses without damaging cells, ultrashort-pulse lasers could provide a new approach to making blood products and other biological products safer.

“Anything derived from human or animal sources could be contaminated with pathogens,” Tsen said. “We screen all blood products before transfusing them to patients. The problem is that we have to know what we’re screening for. If a new blood-borne virus emerges, like HIV did in the ’70s and ’80s, it could get into the blood supply before we know it. Ultrashort-pulse lasers could be a way to make sure that our blood supply is clear of pathogens both known and unknown.”

Story Source:

Materials provided by Washington University School of Medicine. Original written by Tamara Bhandari. Note: Content may be edited for style and length.

Research – A Systematic Review on the Effectiveness of Pre-Harvest Meat Safety Interventions in Pig Herds to Control Salmonella and Other Foodborne Pathogens



This systematic review aimed to assess the effectiveness of pre-harvest interventions to control the main foodborne pathogens in pork in the European Union. A total of 1180 studies were retrieved from PubMed® and Web of Science for 15 pathogens identified as relevant in EFSA’s scientific opinion on the public health hazards related to pork (2011). The study selection focused on controlled studies where a cause–effect could be attributed to the interventions tested, and their effectiveness could be inferred. Altogether, 52 studies published from 1983 to 2020 regarding Campylobacter spp., Clostridium perfringens, Methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureusMycobacterium avium, and Salmonella spp. were retained and analysed. Research was mostly focused on Salmonella (n = 43 studies). In-feed and/or water treatments, and vaccination were the most tested interventions and were, overall, successful. However, the previously agreed criteria for this systematic review excluded other effective interventions to control Salmonella and other pathogens, like Yersinia enterocolitica, which is one of the most relevant biological hazards in pork. Examples of such successful interventions are the Specific Pathogen Free herd principle, stamping out and repopulating with disease-free animals. Research on other pathogens (i.e., Hepatitis E, Trichinella spiralis and Toxoplasma gondii) was scarce, with publications focusing on epidemiology, risk factors and/or observational studies. Overall, high herd health coupled with good management and biosecurity were effective to control or prevent most foodborne pathogens in pork at the pre-harvest level. View Full-Text

USA – California firm ordered to stop Norovirus claims


CBS Los Angeles reports a federal court ordered a Lake Forest company to stop distributing hand sanitizer products it touts as being able to fight specific diseases.

Innovative BioDefense Inc. of Lake Forest was ordered Monday to stop distributing its Zylast hand sanitizer products until it obtains FDA approval or removes removes disease-specific claims from its product labeling, according to the U.S. Department of Justice.

The Zylast product line — which includes a broad spectrum antimicrobial antiseptic, an antiseptic lotion and an antiseptic foaming soap — is sold by Innovative BioDefense online, directly to consumers. According to a 2018 federal complaint, the company marketed their products as being effective against pathogens such as norovirus, rhinovirus, rotavirus, flu virus, Methicillin-Resistant Staphylococcus Aerus bacteria and Ebola.

Research – Protective shield: How pathogens withstand acidic environments in the body

Science Daily

Certain bacteria, including the dangerous nosocomial pathogen MRSA, can protect themselves from acidic conditions in our body and thus ensure their survival. Researchers at the Biozentrum of the University of Basel have now elucidated an important mechanism in this process. A transport protein involved in cell wall biosynthesis plays a key role, they report in the journal Nature Structural & Molecular Biology.

Each year, thousands of patients in Swiss hospitals become infected with dangerous pathogens that can hardly be controlled with antibiotics. The methicillin-resistant bacterium Staphylococcus aureus, MRSA for short, is particularly feared among the multi-resistant nosocomial germs. It can cause severe wound, respiratory and urinary tract infections and life-threatening sepsis. This is aggravated by the fact that MRSA causes chronic infections.

Research – Bacteria killed by new light-activated coating

Science Daily

To stop the spread of disease, it could be used to coat phone screens and keyboards, as well as the inside of catheters and breathing tubes, which are a major source of healthcare-associated infections (HCAIs).

The most well known HCAIs are caused by Clostridioides difficile (C. difficile), methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and Escherichia coli (E. coli). They commonly occur during in-patient medical or surgical treatment, or from visiting a healthcare setting and pose a serious health threat, making them a key priority for the NHS to address*.

The research, published today in Nature Communications, is the first to show a light activated antimicrobial coating successfully killing bacteria in low intensity, ambient light (300 Lux), such as that found in wards and waiting rooms. Previously, similar coatings needed intense light (3,000 Lux), like that found in operating theatres, to activate their killing properties.

The new bactericidal coating is made of tiny clusters of chemically modified gold embedded in a polymer with crystal violet — a dye with antibacterial and antifungal properties.


Research – VA/starch/propolis/anthocyanins rosemary extract composite films as active and intelligent food packaging materials

Wiley Online

Active and intelligent food packaging films has taken more importance over conventional packaging. The aim of this study was to develop active and intelligent food packaging films based on bio‐degradable polymers like polyvinyl alcohol and starch, incorporated with natural additives, that is, propolis extract (PE) and Anthocyanin. Boric acid was used as a cross‐linker. The results proved the compatibility of films mixture. The mechanical strength was also measured and highest value was achieved 6.1 MPa for films containing 20% PE. Moreover, the maximum zone of inhabitation, that is, 21 and 15 mm, was also achieved at same composition against Escherichia coli and methicillin‐resistant Staphylococcus aureus, respectively. Furthermore, all films had shown great color response against different pH ranging from 2 to 14. Finally, food spoilage test was performed using pasteurized milk. Films responded visibly by changing color and protected milk from spoilage. Hence, formulated bio‐degradable active and intelligent films can be used as food packaging material.