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      Current Trends of Enterococci in Dairy Products: A Comprehensive Review of Their Multiple Roles


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          As a genus that has evolved for resistance against adverse environmental factors and that readily exchanges genetic elements, enterococci are well adapted to the cheese environment and may reach high numbers in artisanal cheeses. Their metabolites impact cheese flavor, texture, and rheological properties, thus contributing to the development of its typical sensorial properties. Due to their antimicrobial activity, enterococci modulate the cheese microbiota, stimulate autolysis of other lactic acid bacteria (LAB), control pathogens and deterioration microorganisms, and may offer beneficial effects to the health of their hosts. They could in principle be employed as adjunct/protective/probiotic cultures; however, due to their propensity to acquire genetic determinants of virulence and antibiotic resistance, together with the opportunistic character of some of its members, this genus does not possess Qualified Presumption of Safety (QPS) status. It is, however, noteworthy that some putative virulence factors described in foodborne enterococci may simply reflect adaptation to the food environment and to the human host as commensal. Further research is needed to help distinguish friend from foe among enterococci, eventually enabling exploitation of the beneficial aspects of specific cheese-associated strains. This review aims at discussing both beneficial and deleterious roles played by enterococci in artisanal cheeses, while highlighting the need for further research on such a remarkably hardy genus.

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          Mind-altering microorganisms: the impact of the gut microbiota on brain and behaviour.

          Recent years have witnessed the rise of the gut microbiota as a major topic of research interest in biology. Studies are revealing how variations and changes in the composition of the gut microbiota influence normal physiology and contribute to diseases ranging from inflammation to obesity. Accumulating data now indicate that the gut microbiota also communicates with the CNS--possibly through neural, endocrine and immune pathways--and thereby influences brain function and behaviour. Studies in germ-free animals and in animals exposed to pathogenic bacterial infections, probiotic bacteria or antibiotic drugs suggest a role for the gut microbiota in the regulation of anxiety, mood, cognition and pain. Thus, the emerging concept of a microbiota-gut-brain axis suggests that modulation of the gut microbiota may be a tractable strategy for developing novel therapeutics for complex CNS disorders.
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            Emerging Strategies to Combat ESKAPE Pathogens in the Era of Antimicrobial Resistance: A Review

            The acronym ESKAPE includes six nosocomial pathogens that exhibit multidrug resistance and virulence: Enterococcus faecium, Staphylococcus aureus, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Acinetobacter baumannii, Pseudomonas aeruginosa, and Enterobacter spp. Persistent use of antibiotics has provoked the emergence of multidrug resistant (MDR) and extensively drug resistant (XDR) bacteria, which render even the most effective drugs ineffective. Extended spectrum β-lactamase (ESBL) and carbapenemase producing Gram negative bacteria have emerged as an important therapeutic challenge. Development of novel therapeutics to treat drug resistant infections, especially those caused by ESKAPE pathogens is the need of the hour. Alternative therapies such as use of antibiotics in combination or with adjuvants, bacteriophages, antimicrobial peptides, nanoparticles, and photodynamic light therapy are widely reported. Many reviews published till date describe these therapies with respect to the various agents used, their dosage details and mechanism of action against MDR pathogens but very few have focused specifically on ESKAPE. The objective of this review is to describe the alternative therapies reported to treat ESKAPE infections, their advantages and limitations, potential application in vivo, and status in clinical trials. The review further highlights the importance of a combinatorial approach, wherein two or more therapies are used in combination in order to overcome their individual limitations, additional studies on which are warranted, before translating them into clinical practice. These advances could possibly give an alternate solution or extend the lifetime of current antimicrobials.
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              Introduction of a Qualified Presumption of Safety (QPS) approach for assessment of selected microorganisms referred to EFSA - Opinion of the Scientific Committee


                Author and article information

                Role: Academic Editor
                Role: Academic Editor
                10 April 2021
                April 2021
                : 10
                : 4
                : 821
                [1 ]Faculty of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences, University of the Azores, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal; brunasgardioli@ 123456gmail.com (B.S.); sandra.pa.camara@ 123456uac.pt (S.P.A.C.)
                [2 ]Institute of Agricultural and Environmental Research and Technology (IITAA), University of the Azores, 9700-042 Angra do Heroísmo, Portugal
                [3 ]Microbiology and Antibiotic Resistance Team (MicroART), Department of Veterinary Sciences, University of Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro (UTAD), 5001-801 Vila Real, Portugal; ppoeta@ 123456utad.pt
                [4 ]Associated Laboratory for Green Chemistry (LAQV-REQUIMTE), University NOVA of Lisboa, 2829-516 Lisboa, Portugal
                [5 ]LEPABE—Laboratory for Process Engineering, Environment, Biotechnology and Energy, Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 420-465 Porto, Portugal
                [6 ]FEUP—Faculty of Engineering, University of Porto, 4200-465 Porto, Portugal
                Author notes
                [* ]Correspondence: maria.ln.dapkevicius@ 123456uac.pt (M.d.L.E.D.); fmalcata@ 123456fe.up.pt (F.X.M.)
                Author information
                © 2021 by the authors.

                Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license ( https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/).

                : 05 March 2021
                : 31 March 2021

                dairy enterococcus,starter culture,adjunct culture,protective culture,probiotics,opportunistic pathogen,pathogenicity determinants,antimicrobial resistance


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