The presence of viable Toxoplasma gondii was investigated in artisanal cheeses made from milk of naturally infected ewes. Ewe milk was analyzed beforehand for the presence and vitality of T. gondii by loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), respectively. Cheeses were prepared from raw milk following a traditional cheesemaking process. The cheese obtained from T. gondii-positive milk was analyzed by LAMP to detect Toxoplasma DNA-positive samples. RT-PCR was then carried out to assess the viability of the parasites in T. gondii-positive milk samples and fresh cheese, after 5 and 15 days of ripening. Physical-chemical parameters of cheeses were also investigated. All cheese samples derived from T. gondii-positive milk were positive according to LAMP, at both 5 and 15 days of ripening, while none of the samples were positive according to RT-PCR. Thus, while the presence of the parasite was demonstrated by the detection of specific DNA, the absence of detectable T. gondii RNA supports the hypothesis that changes in the chemical and physical characteristics occurring during the cheesemaking process and ripening period, could be sufficient to inactivate viable T. gondii in milk, minimizing the risk of human infection through consumption of raw sheep milk cheese.

Absence of viable Toxoplasma gondii in artisanal raw-milk ewe cheese derived from naturally infected animals

Ranucci D.;Veronesi F.
;
Diaferia M.
Investigation
;
Morganti G.;Branciari R.;
2020-01-01

Abstract

The presence of viable Toxoplasma gondii was investigated in artisanal cheeses made from milk of naturally infected ewes. Ewe milk was analyzed beforehand for the presence and vitality of T. gondii by loop-mediated isothermal amplification (LAMP) and reverse-transcriptase PCR (RT-PCR), respectively. Cheeses were prepared from raw milk following a traditional cheesemaking process. The cheese obtained from T. gondii-positive milk was analyzed by LAMP to detect Toxoplasma DNA-positive samples. RT-PCR was then carried out to assess the viability of the parasites in T. gondii-positive milk samples and fresh cheese, after 5 and 15 days of ripening. Physical-chemical parameters of cheeses were also investigated. All cheese samples derived from T. gondii-positive milk were positive according to LAMP, at both 5 and 15 days of ripening, while none of the samples were positive according to RT-PCR. Thus, while the presence of the parasite was demonstrated by the detection of specific DNA, the absence of detectable T. gondii RNA supports the hypothesis that changes in the chemical and physical characteristics occurring during the cheesemaking process and ripening period, could be sufficient to inactivate viable T. gondii in milk, minimizing the risk of human infection through consumption of raw sheep milk cheese.
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/11391/1460567
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