They detect bacteria that cause gastrointestinal illnesses in commonly eaten foods

The team MikroIker of the Department of Immunology, Microbiology and Parasitology of the UPV/EHU determined the presence of different species of genus Arcobacter in a variety of commonly eaten foodswho can be the cause of gastrointestinal diseases.

As reported by the Basque public university in a press release, the team carried out a study on the prevalence and characterization of bacterium of the genus Arcobacter with a large number of food samples such as seafood, vegetables, charcuterie and fresh cheesesome of which have never before been analyzed in the environment.

In the same way, they conducted the study of the ability of these bacteria to adhere to different surfaces frequently encountered in food processing environments.

The increase in the discovery of Arcobacter in food samples of all kinds increases public health concerns, as he assured, because there are still Very little is known about the pathogenic potential of the Arcobacter species. However, they pointed out that the few studies that have been done show a large number of host species and transmission routes.

Several species of the genus Arcobacter are considered emerging foodborne pathogens and can be cause of gastrointestinal diseases.

Por ello, con el fin de conocer el riesgo asociado a la presence de esta bacteria en los alimentos, el objetivo de este trabajo es, por un lado, determinar la presence de este patógeno en una amplia gama de productos hasta ahora nunca estudiados, evaluar the genetic diversity and the presence of virulence genes and finally observe the ability of these pathogens to remain attached to a surfacesuch as glass, plastic, or steel commonly found in food processing materials and environments, as reported by the researcher Irati Martinez Malax-Etxebarria.


In work, a total of 220 samples of three major food groups such as farm animals, sea animals and vegetables and it was detected Arcobacter in 22.3% samples analyzed and the most abundant species in all it was A. butzlerithe species most often associated with human diseasesalthough other species have also appeared,” said the UPV/EHU researcher.

He also assured that it was observed that all species presented genes associated with virulent capacitiesthat is, genes that could give the bacterium the ability to cause infection and disease to the human being.

Also, it was found that the baby squid are an important source of Arcobacter, with which the gross consumption of these products could be an important source of infection for humans and a case has also been detected in a piece of cream cheeseprobably associated with cross-contamination since it was a product bought by the cut, added the author of the work.

In the analyzed vegetables, lettuce, spinach, carrot, Swiss chardreported Martinez Malax-Etxebarria, the bacteria appeared in all types except chardwhile curiously, he pointed out, all the lettuce and chard that gave a positive result they were packedwhich makes “think a little, because many times when we acquire processed foods we do not pay attention to its cleanliness“.

He also indicated that in the carrots one has been detected a species that has never been characterized and that it also has “virulence genes”.

Moreover, the results confirm the biofilm formation by foodborne Arcobacter bacteria on the various food contact surfaces and under the conditions under which the tests were carried out, it was observed that the glass surfaces promote “survival and growth of bacteria”comments the UPV/EHU researcher.

According to Irati Martinez, “this is the first time that the presence of the Arcobacter species in the Burgos fresh cheese and carrots. In addition, we point out crustaceans, in particular squidas an important source of adherent archaebacteria”.

According to him, “these results should be considered for their possible implications in Food Safetywhile he Burgos cheese It is a ready-to-eat product, and carrots and shellfish are often eaten undercooked or raw. »

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