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Regul Toxicol Pharmacol. 2005 Dec;43(3):301-12. Epub 2005 Sep 26.

Bacteriophage P100 for control of Listeria monocytogenes in foods: genome sequence, bioinformatic analyses, oral toxicity study, and application.

Author information

1
EBI Food Safety, B.V., Johan van Oldenbarneveltlaan 9, 2582 NE The Hague, The Netherlands.

Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes is an opportunistic foodborne pathogen responsible for Listeriosis, a frequently fatal infection. This investigation represents a comprehensive approach to characterize and evaluate the broad host range, strictly virulent phage P100, which can infect and kill a majority of Listeria monocytogenes strains. First, the complete nucleotide sequence (131,384 basepairs) of the genome of P100 was determined, predicted to encode 174 gene products and 18 tRNAs. Bioinformatic analyses revealed that none of the putative phage proteins has any homologies to genes or proteins of Listeria or any other bacteria which are known or suspected to be toxins, pathogenicity factors, antibiotic resistance determinants, or any known allergens. Next, a repeated dose oral toxicity study in rats was conducted, which did not produce any abnormal histological changes, morbidity or mortality. Therefore, no indications for any potential risk associated with using P100 as a food additive were found. As proof of concept, and to determine the parameters for application of P100 to foods sensitive to Listeria contamination, surface-ripened red-smear soft cheese was produced. Cheeses were contaminated with low concentrations of L. monocytogenes at the beginning of the ripening period, and P100 was applied to the surface during the rind washings. Depending on the time points, frequency and dose of phage applications, we were able to obtain a significant reduction (at least 3.5 logs) or a complete eradication of Listeria viable counts, respectively. We found no evidence for phage resistance in the Listeria isolates recovered from samples. Taken together, our results indicate that P100 can provide an effective and safe measure for the control of Listeria contamination in foods and production equipment.

PMID:
16188359
DOI:
10.1016/j.yrtph.2005.08.005
[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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