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Appl Environ Microbiol
Vol.78, No.2, 2012; Pages: 326 - 33

Cow teat skin, a potential source of diverse microbial populations for cheese production

Verdier-Metz I, Gagne G, Bornes S, Monsallier F, Veisseire P, Delbès-Paus C, Montel MC

INRA UR545 Fromagères, Aurillac, France.

Abstract

The diversity of the microbial community on cow teat skin was evaluated using a culture-dependent method based on the use of different dairy-specific media, followed by the identification of isolates by 16S rRNA gene sequencing. This was combined with a direct molecular approach by cloning and 16S rRNA gene sequencing. This study highlighted the large diversity of the bacterial community that may be found on teat skin, where 79.8% of clones corresponded to various unidentified species as well as 66 identified species, mainly belonging to those commonly found in raw milk (Enterococcus, Pediococcus, Enterobacter, Pantoea, Aerococcus, and Staphylococcus). Several of them, such as nonstarter lactic acid bacteria (NSLAB), Staphylococcus, and Actinobacteria, may contribute to the development of the sensory characteristics of cheese during ripening. Therefore, teat skin could be an interesting source or vector of biodiversity for milk. Variations of microbial counts and diversity between the farms studied have been observed. Moreover, Staphylococcus auricularis, Staphylococcus devriesei, Staphylococcus arlettae, Streptococcus bovis, Streptococcus equinus, Clavibacter michiganensis, Coprococcus catus, or Arthrobacter gandavensis commensal bacteria of teat skin and teat canal, as well as human skin, are not common in milk, suggesting that there is a breakdown of microbial flow from animal to milk. It would then be interesting to thoroughly study this microbial flow from teat to milk.

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