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J Food Sci. 2012 Jan;77(1):M51-6. doi: 10.1111/j.1750-3841.2011.02475.x. Epub 2011 Dec 2.

Inhibitory effects of nisin against Clostridium perfringens food poisoning and nonfood-borne isolates.

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  • 1Department of Biomedical Sciences, College of Veterinary Medicine, Oregon State University, Corvallis, OR 97331, USA.


The enterotoxigenic Clostridium perfringens type A is the causative agent of C. perfringens type A food poisoning (FP) and nonfood-borne (NFB) human gastrointestinal diseases. Due to its ability to form highly resistant endospores, it has become a great concern to the meat industry to produce meat free of C. perfringens. In this study, we evaluated the antimicrobial effect of nisin against C. perfringens FP and NFB isolates. No inhibitory effect of nisin was observed against germination of spores of both FP and NFB isolates in laboratory medium. However, nisin effectively arrested outgrowth of germinated spores of C. perfringens in rich medium. Interestingly, germinated spores of NFB isolates possessed higher resistance to nisin than that of FP isolates. Furthermore, nisin exhibited inhibitory effect against vegetative growth of both FP and NFB isolates in laboratory medium, with vegetative cells of NFB isolates showing higher resistance than that of FP isolates. However, the antimicrobial activity of nisin against C. perfringens was significantly decreased in a meat model system. In conclusion, although nisin showed inhibitory effect against spore outgrowth and vegetative cells of C. perfringens FP and NFB isolates in laboratory conditions, no such effect was observed against C. perfringens spores inoculated into a meat model system.

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