Antibacterial activities of coagulase-negative staphylococci from bovine teat apex skin and their inhibitory effect on mastitis-related pathogens

Authors

  • G. Braem,

    1. Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bio-engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
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  • B. Stijlemans,

    1. Unit of Cellular and Molecular Immunology, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
    2. Laboratory of Myeloid Cell Immunology, VIB, Brussels, Belgium
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  • W. Van Haken,

    1. Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bio-engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
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  • S. De Vliegher,

    1. M-team and Mastitis and Milk Quality Research Unit, Department of Reproduction, Obstetrics and Herd Health, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Ghent University, Merelbeke, Belgium
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  • L. De Vuyst,

    1. Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bio-engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
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  • F. Leroy

    Corresponding author
    1. Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Faculty of Sciences and Bio-engineering Sciences, Vrije Universiteit Brussel, Brussels, Belgium
    • Correspondence

      Frédéric Leroy, Research Group of Industrial Microbiology and Food Biotechnology (IMDO), Vrije Universiteit Brussel (VUB), Pleinlaan 2, B-1050 Brussels, Belgium. E-mail: fleroy@vub.ac.be

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Abstract

Aims

To explore antibacterial activities of coagulase-negative staphylococci (CoNS) from teat apices of dairy cows towards mastitis-causing pathogens.

Methods and Results

Of 254 CoNS, 38 displayed bacteriocin-like activity after a first screening. Seven of these strains displayed activity against at least one mastitis-related pathogen (Streptococcus uberis, Streptococcus dysgalactiae and Staphylococcus aureus). Staphylococcus chromogenes L217 displayed the strongest inhibitory effect, being active against all tested mastitis-related pathogens and most tested CoNS. Based on cation exchange and reversed-phase chromatography, in addition to N-terminal Edman degradation and PCR, the antibacterial peptide was identified as a nukacin-type bacteriocin and named nukacin L217. Although staphylococcal bacteriocins are generally found in the cell-free supernatants of liquid cultures, Staph. chromogenes L217 only led to detectable activity when grown on agar medium.

Conclusions

Bacteriocin-like activities are not uncommon among CoNS from teat apices and may inhibit mastitis-causing pathogens, as found for nukacin L217 production by Staph. chromogenes L217.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Nukacin L217 is the first identified bacteriocin of the species Staph. chromogenes and displays unusual production kinetics, that is, requiring surface growth of its producer. The fact that nukacins are produced by different CoNS species suggests a role in the teat skin ecosystem.

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