Atlas of foodborne infections
transmitted by contaminated food and water

Atlas of Patogens Contents Information sources Glossary Administration



Water and Beverages
Milk and Milk Products
Soft Cheeses
Fruits and Vegetables


Foodborne Disease:
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gastroenteritis - unsuitable for sale (nevhodné k prodeji)

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Pediococcus is a genus of Gram-positive lactic acid bacteria, placed within the family of Lactobacillaceae. They usually occur in pairs or tetrads, and divide along two planes of symmetry, as do the other lactic acid cocci genera Aerococci and Tetragenococcus. They are purely homofermentative. Pediococcus dextrinicus has recently been reassigned to the genus Lactobacillus.

Pediococcus is, along with other lactic acid bacteria such as Leuconostoc and Lactobacillus responsible for the fermentation of cabbage, making it Sauerkraut. In this process the sugars in fresh cabbage are transformed to lactic acids which give it a sour flavour and good keeping qualities. Pediococcus bacteria are usually considered contaminants of beer and wine although their presence is sometimes desired in beer styles such as Lambic.

Certain Pediococcus isolates produce diacetyl which gives a buttery or butterscotch aroma to some wines (such as Chardonnay) and a few styles of beer. Pediococcus species are often used in silage inoculants. Pediococci are used as probiotics, and are commonly added as beneficial microbes in the creation of cheeses and yogurts.

A Pediococcus spp. infection in a sweet red wine (fig.1). Note the cloudiness due to the bacterial cells and the color change due to pH fall. Some strains of pediococci produce slime (rope) in wines. The source of infection is thought to have been the bottle filler. Figure 2 shows Pediococcus spp. (x1200) in wine. Care should be taken to avoid confusing pediococci with tannins.

(Infekce Pediococcus spp. u červeného sladkého vína (obr.1). Všimněte si zákalu díky přítomnosti buněk bakterií a změnu barvy díky snížení hodnoty pH. Některé kmeny pediokoků mohou tvořit sliz. Zdrojem této infekce byla pravděpodobně plnička láhví. Na obr.2 je možno vidět  bakterie rodu Pediococcus spp. (x1200) ve víně. Je třeba dbát na to, aby se zabránilo záměně pediokoků za taniny.)


A Pediococcus spp infection in a sweet red wine
Source: 1.
Pediococcus sp (x1200) in wine
Source: 2.
Pediococcus pentosaceus
Source: Pediococcus pentosaceus

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