Main content area

Histidine Decarboxylases and Their Role in Accumulation of Histamine in Tuna and Dried Saury

Kanki, Masashi, Yoda, Tomoko, Tsukamoto, Teizo, Baba, Eiichiroh
Applied and environmental microbiology 2007 v.73 no.5 pp. 1467-1473
Morganella morganii, Photobacterium damselae, Photobacterium phosphoreum, Raoultella planticola, bacteria, buffers, frozen storage, histamine, histidine, ingestion, pH, scombroid poisoning, sodium chloride, temperature, tuna
Histamine-producing bacteria (HPB) such as Photobacterium phosphoreum and Raoultella planticola possess histidine decarboxylase (HDC), which converts histidine into histamine. Histamine fish poisoning (HFP) is attributable to the ingestion of fish containing high levels of histamine produced by HPB. Because freezing greatly decreases the histamine-producing ability of HPB, especially of P. phosphoreum, it has been speculated that HFP is caused by HDC itself from HPB cells autolyzing during frozen storage, even when HPB survive frozen storage. Here we constructed recombinant HDCs of P. phosphoreum, Photobacterium damselae, R. planticola, and Morganella morganii and investigated the ability of HDCs to produce sufficient histamine to cause HFP. To elucidate the character of these HDCs, we examined the specific activity of each recombinant HDC at various temperatures, pH levels, and NaCl concentrations. Further, we also investigated the stability of each HDC under different conditions (in reaction buffer, tuna, and dried saury) at various temperatures. P. damselae HDC readily produced sufficient histamine to cause HFP in fish samples. We consider that if HDC is implicated as an independent cause of HFP in frozen-thawed fish, the most likely causative agent is HDC of P. damselae.