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Syst Appl Microbiol. 2003 Mar;26(1):30-7.

Staphylococcus equorum subsp. linens, subsp. nov., a starter culture component for surface ripened semi-hard cheeses.

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Laboratory of Food Microbiology, Institute of Food Science and Nutrition, Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), Zurich, Switzerland.


Two staphylococcal strains, RP29T and RP33, were isolated from the main microflora of a surface ripened Swiss mountain cheese made from raw milk. These two strains were differentiated from the most closely related species Staphylococcus equorum on the basis of DNA-DNA hybridisation and phenotypic characteristics and are proposed as Staphylococcus equorum subsp. linens subsp. nov. They could be distinguished phenotypically from S. equorum by their sensitivity to all 14 tested antibiotics, especially to novobiocin, their incapability to ferment alpha-D-lactose, maltose, sucrose, D-trehalose, D-xylose, L-arabinose, salicin, D-ribose, D-raffinose, D-mannitol, and D-alanine. The GenBank accession numbers for the reference sequences of the 16S rDNA and the hsp60 gene used in this study are AF527483 and AF527484, respectively. 30 tons of a semi-hard Swiss cheese were produced with Staphylococcus equorum subsp. linens DSM 15097T as starter culture component in addition to Debaryomyces hansenii, Geotrichum candidum, Brevibacterium linens, Corynebacterium casei for surface ripened cheeses. The products were sensorically and hygienically perfect. Therefore, Staphylococcus equorum subsp. linens DSM 15097T can be proposed as starter culture component for surface ripened cheeses without any detected antibiotic resistances. The type strain of Staphylococcus equorum subsp. linens is DSM 15097T (CIP 107656T).

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