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Spore germination based assay for monitoring antibiotic residues in milk at dairy farm

Kumar, Naresh, Raghu, Hirikyathanahalli Vishweswaraiah, Kumar, Abhishek, Haldar, Lopamudra, Khan, Alia, Rane, Sharmila, Malik, Ravinder Kumar
World journal of microbiology & biotechnology 2012 v.28 no.7 pp. 2559-2566
dried milk, whey powder, antibiotic residues, spore germination, glucose, farms, reconstituted milk, dairy farming, dairy industry, sampling, spores, monitoring, indicator species, skim milk, vegetative cells, pollutants, microscopy, sporulation, antibiotics, Geobacillus stearothermophilus, food processing, color
Spore germination based assay involves the transformation of dormant spores of Bacillus stearothermophilus 953 into active vegetative cells. The inhibition of germination process specifically in presence of antibiotic residues was used as a novel approach for monitoring target contaminants in milk. The indicator organism i.e., B. stearothermophilus 953 was initially allowed to sporulate by seeding in sporulation medium and incubating at 55 °C for 18 ± 2 h. The spores exhibited a typical chain behavior as revealed through phase contrast microscopy. The minimal medium inoculated with activated spores was incubated at 64 °C for 2–3 h for germination and outgrowth in presence of specific germinant mixture containing dextrose, whey powder and skimmed milk powder added in specific ratio along with reconstituted milk as negative control and test milk samples. The change in color of the medium from purple to yellow was used as criteria for detection of antibiotic residues in milk. The efficiency of the developed assay was evaluated through a surveillance study on 228 samples of raw, pasteurized and dried milks and results were compared with AOAC approved microbial receptor assay. The presence of antibiotic level was 10.08 % at Codex maximum residual limit having false positive result only in 0.43 % of the samples. The results of the present investigation suggest that developed spore based assay can be a practical solution to dairy industry for its application at farm level, milk processing units, independent testing and R & D centres in order to comply with the legal requirements set by Codex.