Mysterious Shark Killer Partially Identified.
The mysterious shark killer, carnobacterium is a genus of Gram-positive bacteria within the family Carnobacteriaceae has been identified. C. divergens and C. maltaromaticum are found in the wild and in food products and can grow anaerobically. These species are not known to be pathogenic in humans, but may cause disease in fish. Works published during the last decade concerning C. maltaromaticum have shown that this non-starter LAB (Non-Starter Lactic Acid Bacteria) could present major interests in dairy product technology. Four reasons can be mentioned: i) it can grow in milk during the ripening period with no competition with starter LAB, ii) this species synthesises different flavouring compounds e.g., 3-methylbutanal, iii) it can inhibit the growth of food-borne pathogens as Listeria monocytogenes due to its ability to produce bacteriocins, iv) it has never been reported to be involved in human diseases as no cases of human infection have been directly linked to the consumption of dairy products containing this species. According to this article, although the fungus had been isolated, it has not been concluded that the spate of shark deaths are due principally to it.
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