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PLoS One. 2013;8(1):e54828. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0054828. Epub 2013 Jan 24.

Potential of the virion-associated peptidoglycan hydrolase HydH5 and its derivative fusion proteins in milk biopreservation.

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  • 1DairySafe Group, Department of Technology and Biotechnology of Dairy Products, Instituto de Productos Lácteos de Asturias (IPLA), Consejo Superior de Investigaciones Científicas (CSIC), Villaviciosa, Asturias, Spain.

Abstract

Bacteriophage lytic enzymes have recently attracted considerable interest as novel antimicrobials against Gram-positive bacteria. In this work, antimicrobial activity in milk of HydH5 [a virion-associated peptidoglycan hydrolase (VAPGH) encoded by the Staphylococcus aureus bacteriophage vB_SauS-phiIPLA88], and three different fusion proteins created between HydH5 and lysostaphin has been assessed. The lytic activity of the five proteins (HydH5, HydH5Lyso, HydH5SH3b, CHAPSH3b and lysostaphin) was confirmed using commercial whole extended shelf-life milk (ESL) in challenge assays with 10(4) CFU/mL of the strain S. aureus Sa9. HydH5, HydH5Lyso and HydH5SH3b (3.5 µM) kept the staphylococcal viable counts below the control cultures for 6 h at 37°C. The effect is apparent just 15 minutes after the addition of the lytic enzyme. Of note, lysostaphin and CHAPSH3b showed the highest staphylolytic protection as they were able to eradicate the initial staphylococcal challenge immediately or 15 min after addition, respectively, at lower concentration (1 µM) at 37°C. CHAPSH3b showed the same antistaphyloccal effect at room temperature (1.65 µM). No re-growth was observed for the remainder of the experiment (up to 6 h). CHAPSH3b activity (1.65 µM) was also assayed in raw (whole and skim) and pasteurized (whole and skim) milk. Pasteurization of milk clearly enhanced CHAPSH3b staphylolytic activity in both whole and skim milk at both temperatures. This effect was most dramatic at room temperature as this protein was able to reduce S. aureus viable counts to undetectable levels immediately after addition with no re-growth detected for the duration of the experiment (360 min). Furthermore, CHAPSH3b protein is known to be heat tolerant and retained some lytic activity after pasteurization treatment and after storage at 4°C for 3 days. These results might facilitate the use of the peptidoglycan hydrolase HydH5 and its derivative fusions, particularly CHAPSH3b, as biocontrol agents for controlling undesirable bacteria in dairy products.

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