Characterization of toxin production of coagulase-negative staphylococci isolated from food and starter cultures

Int J Food Microbiol. 2008 Oct 31;127(3):246-51. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2008.07.016. Epub 2008 Jul 22.


In this study a comprehensive analysis of toxin production of food associated coagulase-negative staphylococci (CNS) was investigated. The strains belong to the following staphylococcal species, Staphylococcus carnosus, Staphylococcus condimenti, Staphylococcus equorum, Staphylococcus piscifermentans, Staphylococcus succinus, and Staphylococcus xylosus, which were isolated from fermented food and starter cultures. A collection of 330 strains were analyzed with respect to their hemolytic activity. 59% of the strains exhibited weak to moderate hemolytic activity with human blood and 34% with sheep blood after 48 h incubation. A selection of 35 strains were tested by immunoblot analysis for their ability to produce toxins, such as the most common staphylococcal enterotoxins (SEs), the toxic shock syndrome toxin 1 (TSST-1), and the exfoliative toxin A (ETA). 18 of the 35 strains produced at least one of the toxins with the SED and SEH being the most common. These indicate that the use of CNS in food production demands a safety evaluation.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Bacterial Toxins / biosynthesis
  • Coagulase / metabolism
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Consumer Product Safety*
  • Enterotoxins / biosynthesis*
  • Exfoliatins / biosynthesis
  • Food Contamination / analysis*
  • Food Microbiology
  • Hemolysis
  • Humans
  • Immunoblotting
  • Sheep
  • Species Specificity
  • Staphylococcal Food Poisoning / microbiology*
  • Staphylococcus / isolation & purification
  • Staphylococcus / metabolism*
  • Superantigens / biosynthesis


  • Bacterial Toxins
  • Coagulase
  • Enterotoxins
  • Exfoliatins
  • Staphylococcal enterotoxin H
  • Superantigens
  • enterotoxin F, Staphylococcal
  • enterotoxin D, Staphylococcal