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Multilocus sequence typing of Carnobacterium maltaromaticum strains associated with fish disease and dairy products

Ramia, N.E., El Kheir, S.M., Taha, S., Mangavel, C., Revol‐Junelles, A.M., Borges, F.
Journal of applied microbiology 2019 v.126 no.2 pp. 377-387
Carnobacterium piscicola, GRAS substances, avirulent strains, cheeses, fish, fish diseases, food biopreservation, food chain, food safety, genetic relationships, genotype, lactic acid bacteria, multilocus sequence typing, population structure, risk assessment, United States
AIMS: Carnobacterium maltaromaticum is a lactic acid bacterium of technological interest in the field of dairy ripening and food bioprotection and is generally recognized as safe in the United States. As it is associated with fish infections, the European Food Safety Agency did not include this species in the qualified presumption safety list of micro‐organisms. This implies that the risk assessment for the species has to be performed at the strain level. METHODS AND RESULTS: Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) is a tool that (i) potentially allows to discriminate strains isolated from diseased fish from apathogenic strains and (ii) to assess the genetic relatedness between both groups of strains. In this study, we characterized by MLST 21 C. maltaromaticum strains including 16 strains isolated from diseased fish and 5 apathogenic dairy strains isolated from cheese. The resulting population structure was investigated by integrating these new data to the previously published population structure (available at, which represents an overall of 71 strains. CONCLUSIONS: This analysis revealed that none of the strains isolated from diseased fish is assigned to a clonal complex containing cheese isolates, and that 11 strains exhibit singleton genotypes suggesting that the population of diseased fish isolates is not clonal. SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY: This study thus provides a population structure of C. maltaromaticum that could serve in the future as a reference that could contribute to the risk assessment of C. maltaromaticum strains intended to be used in the food chain.