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Enterococci Isolated From Dairy Products: A Review Of Risks And Potential Technological Use

GIORGIO GIRAFFA, DOMENICO CARMINATI, ERASMO NEVIANI

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Enterococci are ubiquitous bacteria which frequently occur in large numbers in dairy and other food products. Although they share a number of biotechnological traits (e.g., bacteriocin production, probiotic characteristics, usefulness in dairy technology), there is no consensus on whether enterococci pose a threat as foodborne pathogens, The potential pathogenicity of lactic acid bacteria (LAB), including enterococci, in human clinical infections and their association with endocarditis have recently become a matter of controversy, in spite of the fact that foods containing enterococci have a long history of safe use. This article provides literature data available on microbial ecology, biochemical properties, production of anti-Listeria bacteriocins, and potential pathogenic traits of enterococci isolated from different dairy products.