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J Appl Microbiol. 2009 Oct;107(4):1392-403. doi: 10.1111/j.1365-2672.2009.04327.x. Epub 2009 Apr 24.

Molecular and probiotic characterization of bacteriocin-producing Enterococcus faecium strains isolated from nonfermented animal foods.

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Department of Analytical Chemistry, Nutrition and Food Science, LHICA, School of Veterinary Sciences, University of Santiago de Compostela, Lugo E-27002, Spain.



The characterization of four novel bacteriocin-producing enterococcal strains, isolated from nonfermented animal foods, was carried out with a view to evaluate their potential application as probiotics in raw and processed foodstuffs.


16S rRNA sequencing and random amplification of polymorphic DNA-polymerase chain reaction (RAPD-PCR) analysis allowed the identification and intra-specific grouping of Enterococcus faecium strains, which inhibited the growth of four relevant food-borne pathogenic and spoilage species. Enterococcus faecium strains exhibited remarkable probiotic profiles, being able to survive to pH 3.0 and to the presence of bile salts, pancreatin and pepsin. Enterococcus faecium strains evaluated did not exhibit bile salt hydrolase or haemolytic activity, but showed good adhesion properties, also exhibiting sensitivity to clinically relevant antimicrobial agents.


In our study, DNA sequencing of the 16S rRNA gene and RAPD-PCR analysis were equally discriminatory for typing E. faecium strains. This study also confirmed the potential tolerance and survival of E. faecium strains isolated from nonfermented animal foods to the gastrointestinal tract.


This study represents the first report on potential probiotic E. faecium strains isolated from nonfermented meat and fish. Their moderate heat resistance opens the way to their potential use as probiotics in minimally processed foods subjected to moderate heat processing.

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