Using Cutting-Edge Methods to Keep Dangerous and Resistant Bacteria in Milk and Dairy Products in Check

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Our project researchers are answering important food-safety questions along entire production chains. Here, it is not just the classic pathogenic bacteria such as STEC, but also antibiotic-resistant and persistent bacteria that play a role. Cutting-edge genetic approaches allow us to view the microbial dynamics of entire systems from brand-new perspectives. In commercial cheese dairies – including alpine dairies –researchers record the entirety of antibiotic-resistance genes (resistomes), pathogenicity factors (viromes) and transferable elements (mobilomes). Thanks to the Agroscope research programme ‘Reduction and Dynamics of Antibiotic-Resistant and Persistent Microorganisms along Food Chains’ REDYMO, they are able to identify hotspots for heat-resistent E. coli in the dairy sector. They also assess the importance of K. pneumoniae, S. maltophilae and other bacteria as new emerging risks, and introduce sequence-based typing to support enforcement.

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