Purpose: The aim of this study was to evaluate the capacity of LAB strains isolated from Minas artisanal cheeses as anti-listerial agents.
Methods: A total of 891 LAB strains were isolated from 244 Minas artisanal cheese samples (466 using MRS agar (MRSLAB) and 425 using M17 agar (M17LAB)), which were tested qualitatively for anti-listerial activity by the deferred antagonism assay at 30oC (24 h). Two L. monocytogenes strains, serotypes 1/2b and 4b, isolated from cheese and crude milk, respectively, were used. LAB strains with positive anti-listerial activity at 30oC were further tested at 7oC (10 days).
Results: MRSLAB strains presented significantly better anti-listerial activity at 30oC (73.0% and 70.8% for serotypes 1/2b and 4b, respectively) compared to M17LAB strains (21.2% and 23.1%, respectively), and there was no significant difference between listeria serotypes (p<0.05). Selected MRSLAB and M17LAB strains were able to keep anti-listerial activity at 7oC, with no significant differences between MRSLAB (96.8% and 97.2% for listeria 1/2b and 4b, respectively) and M17LAB (95.2% and 96.8%, respectively) or between Listeria serotypes (p<0.05).
Significance: These results suggested that LAB isolated from Minas cheeses using MRS agar present a better inhibitory effect against L. monocytogenes at different temperatures. These strains can be used as starter cultures in order to inhibit pathogen survival.