Quantitative analysis of histidine decarboxylase gene (hdcA) transcription and histamine production by Streptococcus thermophilus PRI60 under conditions relevant to cheese making

Appl Environ Microbiol. 2011 Apr;77(8):2817-22. doi: 10.1128/AEM.02531-10. Epub 2011 Mar 4.


This study evaluated the influence of parameters relevant for cheese making on histamine formation by Streptococcus thermophilus. Strains possessing a histidine decarboxylase (hdcA) gene represented 6% of the dairy isolates screened. The most histaminogenic, S. thermophilus PRI60, exhibited in skim milk a high basal level of expression of hdcA, upregulation in the presence of free histidine and salt, and repression after thermization. HdcA activity persisted in cell extracts, indicating that histamine might accumulate after cell lysis in cheese.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Cheese / microbiology*
  • Decarboxylation
  • Food Microbiology
  • Foodborne Diseases*
  • Histamine / biosynthesis*
  • Histidine Decarboxylase / analysis
  • Histidine Decarboxylase / genetics*
  • Histidine Decarboxylase / metabolism
  • Milk / microbiology
  • Molecular Sequence Data
  • Polymerase Chain Reaction
  • Sequence Analysis, DNA
  • Streptococcus thermophilus / cytology
  • Streptococcus thermophilus / genetics
  • Streptococcus thermophilus / metabolism*
  • Transcription, Genetic*


  • Histamine
  • Histidine Decarboxylase

Associated data

  • GENBANK/FR693807