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J Appl Microbiol. 2001 Dec;91(6):1074-84.

Occurrence of Bacillus sporothermodurans and other aerobic spore-forming species in feed concentrate for dairy cattle.

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Center for Agricultural Research-Ghent, Department for Animal Product Quality and Transformation Technology, Melle, Belgium.



To determine the aerobic spore composition and presence of Bacillus sporothermodurans spores in feed concentrate for dairy cattle.


Six feed concentrate samples from five different farms were analysed. High levels of spores (up to 10(6) spores g(-1)) were found. Identification of 100 selected isolates was obtained by a combination of fatty acid methyl esters analysis, amplified ribosomal DNA restriction analysis and 16S rDNA sequencing. Ninety-seven isolates could be identified to the species level or assigned to a phylogenetic species group. Most of the isolates obtained after a heat treatment of 10 min at 80 degrees C were identified as members of the B. subtilis group (32 isolates), B. pumilus (25 isolates), B. clausii (eight isolates) and B. licheniformis (eight isolates). The isolates with very heat-resistant spores, obtained after a heat treatment of 30 min at 100 degrees C, were identified as members of the B. subtilis group (five isolates), B. sporothermodurans (three isolates), B. amyloliquefaciens (one isolate), B. oleronius (one isolate) and B. pallidus (one isolate). Bacillus cereus was present in each feed concentrate sample and was isolated using a selective mannitol egg yolk polymyxin agar medium.


Feed concentrate for dairy cattle contains known as well as as yet unknown species of Bacillus and related genera with properties relevant to the dairy sector.


The results formulate the hypothesis that feed concentrate can be a contamination source of spores, including those of B. sporothermodurans, for raw milk at the farm level.

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