Occurrence of Enterocin Genes in Enterococci from Slovak Milk Product Žinčica

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Žinčica is a popular Slovak dairy product made from ewes’ milk. It is a by-product resulting during ewes’ lump cheese processing. Microbiota in Žinčica have rarely been studied, especially enterococci; however, they can produce beneficial substances – bacteriocins. In this study, the presence of Enterocins (Ents) genes were analysed in enterococci from Žinčica and partially also the inhibition activity. Samples of Žinčica were collected from different agrofarms producing ewes’ lump cheese (34) in Central Slovakia. In the enterococci tested, Ent P gene was the most frequently detected (in 6 out of 7 enterococci), followed by Ent A and Ent L50B genes. Ent B gene was detected only in E. faecium 30E1. On the other hand, E. faecalis 31E2 did not contain Ent genes, although it showed inhibition activity against the indicator strains Enterococcus avium EA5, Staphylococcus aureus SA5, Listeria monocytogenes CCM4699 (inhibition zone sizing up to 20 mm). E. faecium 30E1 contained genes of four Ents; however, it showed no inhibition activity. Growth of the four indicators was inhibited due to the antimicrobial activity of E. faecium 32E1 with Ent P gene detection. This is the first study reporting on the occurrence of Ent genes in enterococci from Žinčica.

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