Zimbabwe Veterinary Journal

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Contribution of Lactobacillus plantarum in fermented dairy products to food safety and public health

Colin Musara


Strains of Lactobacillus plantarum recently isolated from artisanal fermented milks and milk products include L. plantarum AMA-K, L. plantarum KLDS1.0391, L. plantarum ST27, L. plantarum LL441, L. plantarum ST8K and L. plantarum BR12. The isolates exhibited in vitro antimicrobial activity against saprophytic and enteropathogenic bacteria which include Listeria monocytogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Bacillus cereus, Escherichia coli, Clostridium difficile, Clostridium perfringens, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Enterococcus faecalis, Pseudomonas fluorescens, Salmonella typhimurium, Salmonella typhi, Salmonella enterica and Shigella flexneri. The broad antimicrobial spectrum affords ample opportunity for use of L. plantarum strains as food preservatives and probiotics in dairy products. In vivo, health benefits of L. plantarum reported in humans include increased fermentation in the hindgut, reduced intestinal load of diarrhoea-causing Enterobacteriacea, predominance of ingested L. plantarum over enteric pathogens in the intestinal microflora and reduced incidence of Clostridium difficile-associated diarrhoea.

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