Bacteriocinogenic potential and virulence traits of Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis isolated from human milk

  • Soodabeh Khalkhali Department of Microbiology, Shiraz Branch, Islamic Azad University, Shiraz, Iran; Department of Microbiology, Fars Research and Sciences Branch, Islamic Azad University, Fars, Iran
  • Naheed Mojgani Biotechnology Department, Razi Vaccine and Serum Research Institute, Agriculture Research Education and Extension Organization, Karaj, Iran
Keywords: Enterococcus, Bacteriocins, Biogenic amines, Human milk, Vancomycin, Virulence genes


Background and Objectives: Human milk is a continuous supply of Lactic Acid bacteria (LAB), including enterococci with probiotic potentials. The aim of this study was to analyze two Enterococcus species, isolated from human milk for their probiotic potential, bacteriocin producing ability and virulence traits.Materials and Methods: Enterococcus faecium TA0033 and E. faecalis TA102 were tested for acid and bile tolerance, survival in simulated gastric and intestinal conditions. The antibacterial spectrum of the isolates was tested by agar well diffusion assay. The antagonistic agent was characterized by physico-chemical methods. The enterocin structural genes, virulence determinants, vancomycin resistance and biogenic amine genes, such as hdc1, hdc2, tdc, ldc and odc were also determined.Results: The tested isolates survived acidic conditions, high bile salt (1%), simulated gastric and intestinal conditions. The culture supernatant fluids of the two isolates inhibited the growth of Escherichia coli, Listeria monocytogenes, Salmonella typhi, Staphylococcus aureus, Shigella dysenteriae and Streptococcus agalactiae. The antagonistic activity was lost in the presence of proteolytic enzymes but tolerated the action of catalase, lysozyme and lipase. In contrast to enterocin TA102, enterocin TA0033 possessed bactericidal mode of action. Bacteriocin structural genes, entA and entB were present in the genome of the two isolates, while E. faecalis TA102 additionally harboured entP and bac31 genes. The phenotypic and genotypic virulence assessment studies indicated hyaluronidase (hyl) production and vancomycin resistance in E. faecalis TA102 while, none of the isolates harboured the biogenic amine genes.Conclusion: The presence of virulence genes in E. faecalis TA102 calls for careful monitoring of Enterococcus isolates for their safety parameters.


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How to Cite
Khalkhali S, Mojgani N. Bacteriocinogenic potential and virulence traits of Enterococcus faecium and E. faecalis isolated from human milk. IJM. 9(4):224-33.
Original Article(s)