The use of bacteriophages to control and detect pathogens in the dairy industry


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International Journal of Dairy Technoloy

© 2019 Society of Dairy Technology


Dairy products are susceptible to bacterial contamination during both primary production and the processing stages. Pasteurisation and high hydrostatic pressure are used to eliminate bacteria from milk; however, some heat-tolerant pathogens and bacterial spores may survive these processes. Bacteriophages (phages) are viruses that infect and lyse specific bacteria. These or their encoded proteins may be exploited for pathogen biocontrol in milk products and for mastitis treatment during primary production. The host specificity of phages and their proteins may also be exploited for pathogen detection. Various examples of phage-mediated pathogen biocontrol and detection in the dairy context are discussed in this review.

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