Forum for Science, Industry and Business

Sponsored by:     3M 
Search our Site:

 

Study reveals fungus in yogurt outbreak poses a threat to consumers

08.07.2014

The fungus responsible for an outbreak of contaminated Greek yogurt last year is not harmless after all but a strain with the ability to cause disease, according to research published in mBio®, the online open-access journal of the American Society for Microbiology.

In September 2013, customers of Chobani brand Greek yogurt complained of gastrointestinal (GI) problems after consuming products manufactured in the company's Idaho plant. The company issued a recall, and it was believed at the time that the fungal contaminant Murcor circinelloides was only a potential danger to immunocompromised individuals.

However, as complaints of severe GI discomfort continued from otherwise healthy customers, researchers began to question the fungus and its ability to cause harm in healthy humans.

"When he heard about the Chobani recall after reports of people becoming sick from yogurt contaminated with Mucor circinelloides, we thought the M. circinelloides strain could cause more serious problems than one might think." says Soo Chan Lee of Duke University, an author on the study.

In the study, the researchers isolated a strain of the fungus from a yogurt container that was subject to recall. Using a technique known as multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), they identified the strain as Mucor circinelloides f. circinelloides (Mcc). Unlike other strains of the fungus, that particular subspecies is commonly associated with human infections.

Whole-genome sequence analysis of the yogurt isolate confirmed it as being closely related to Mcc and also revealed the possibility that this fungus could produce harmful metabolites that were previously unknown in this species. The researchers then tested the strain on mice, where the fungus showed an ability to cause lethal infections when the fungal spores were injected into the bloodstream as well as to survive passage through the GI tract when the spores were ingested orally.

"When people think about food-borne pathogens, normally they list bacteria, viruses, and maybe parasites. Fungal pathogens are not considered as food-borne pathogens. However, this incidence indicates that we need to pay more attention to fungi. Fungal pathogens can threaten our health systems as food-borne pathogens" says Lee.

###

mBio® is an open access online journal published by the American Society for Microbiology to make microbiology research broadly accessible. The focus of the journal is on rapid publication of cutting-edge research spanning the entire spectrum of microbiology and related fields. It can be found online at http://mbio.asm.org.

The American Society for Microbiology is the largest single life science society, composed of over 39,000 scientists and health professionals. ASM's mission is to advance the microbiological sciences as a vehicle for understanding life processes and to apply and communicate this knowledge for the improvement of health and environmental and economic well-being worldwide.

Jim Sliwa | Eurek Alert!

Further reports about: fungal fungus healthy infections microbiology outbreak pathogens sequence spectrum spores strain viruses

More articles from Life Sciences:

nachricht Silencing the Speech Gene FOXP2 Causes Breast Cancer Cells to Metastasize
23.10.2014 | Beth Israel Deaconess Medical Center

nachricht Protecting us from our cells: Growth factor boosts natural defence against auto-immune disorders
23.10.2014 | European Molecular Biology Laboratory EMBL

All articles from Life Sciences >>>

The most recent press releases about innovation >>>

Anzeige

Anzeige

Event News

Comparing Apples and Oranges? A Colloquium on International Comparative Urban Research

22.10.2014 | Event News

Battery Conference April 2015 in Aachen

16.10.2014 | Event News

Experts discuss new developments in the field of stem cell research and cell therapy

10.10.2014 | Event News

 
Latest News

NASA's TRMM Satellite Calculates Hurricanes Fay and Gonzalo Rainfall

23.10.2014 | Earth Sciences

New 3D Display Technology Promises Greater Energy Efficiency

23.10.2014 | Power and Electrical Engineering

World population likely to peak by 2070

23.10.2014 | Social Sciences

VideoLinks
B2B-VideoLinks
More VideoLinks >>>