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Inhibition of Growth of Enterobacter sakazakii in Reconstituted Infant Formula by the Lactoperoxidase System

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Neonatal bacteremia and meningitis caused by the opportunistic pathogen Enterobacter sakazakii have been associated with the consumption of reconstituted powdered infant formula. Lactoperoxidase (LPO), present in mammalian milk, is known to inhibit the growth of enteric pathogens. We undertook a study to determine if the lactoperoxidase system (LPOS) will inhibit the growth of E. sakazakii in a milk-based powdered infant formula reconstituted with water. Initially at 0.04 CFU/ml, E. sakazakii grew to 2.40 to 2.74 log CFU/ml in reconstituted infant formula held at 30 or 37°C for 8 h and to 0.6 log CFU/ml in formula held for 12 h at 21°C. The pathogen was not detected (less than 1 CFU/227 ml) by enrichment of formula treated with 10 to 30 μg/ml LPO and stored for 24 h at 37°C or 30 μg/ml LPO and stored for 24 h at 30°C. Populations of E. sakazakii, initially at 4.40 log CFU/ml of reconstituted infant formula containing 5 μg/ml LPO, did not increase significantly (P > 0.05) for up to 12 h at 21 and 30°C. Populations either decreased significantly or were unchanged in formula supplemented with 10 μg/ml LPO and stored at 21, 30, or 37°C for up to 24, 8, and 8 h, respectively. Results indicate that LPOS can be used to control the growth of E. sakazakii in reconstituted infant formula, thereby potentially reducing the risk of neonatal infections resulting from consumption of formula that may be contaminated with the pathogen.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA; USDA, ERRC-ARS, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, PA 19038-8551, USA 2: Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA

Publication date: September 1, 2007

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    First published in 1937, the Journal of Food Protection®, is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection® is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

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