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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1987 Sep;53(9):2165-70.

Antimicrobial activity of lysozyme against bacteria involved in food spoilage and food-borne disease.

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Food Research Institute, University of Wisconsin, Madison 53706.


Egg white lysozyme was demonstrated to have antibacterial activity against organisms of concern in food safety, including Listeria monocytogenes and certain strains of Clostridium botulinum. We also found that the food spoilage thermophile Clostridium thermosaccharolyticum was highly susceptible to lysozyme and confirmed that the spoilage organisms Bacillus stearothermophilus and Clostridium tyrobutyricum were also extremely sensitive. Several gram-positive and gram-negative pathogens isolated from food poisoning outbreaks, including Bacillus cereus, Clostridium perfringens, Staphylococcus aureus, Campylobacter jejuni, Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella typhimurium, and Yersinia enterocolitica, were all resistant. The results of this study suggest that lysozyme may have selected applications in food preservation, especially when thermophilic sporeformers are problems, and as a safeguard against food poisoning caused by C. botulinum and L. monocytogenes.

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