Maxwell L. Van Tassell

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BACKGROUND Individuals with inactive alleles of the fucosyltransferase 2 gene (FUT2; termed the 'secretor' gene) are common in many populations. Some members of the genus Bifidobacterium, common infant gut commensals, are known to consume 2'-fucosylated glycans found in the breast milk of secretor mothers. We investigated the effects of maternal secretor(More)
Retrophosphorylation of the histidine kinase CheA in the chemosensory transduction chain is a widespread mechanism for efficient dephosphorylation of the activated response regulator. First discovered in Sinorhizobium meliloti, the main response regulator CheY2-P shuttles its phosphoryl group back to CheA, while a second response regulator, CheY1, serves as(More)
Wild Lactococcus lactis isolates from traditional Pecorino cheeses in 4 regions of Tuscany were isolated and characterized to evaluate the diversity of autochthonous lactococci. Sixty strains of Lactococcus were clustered by the results of carbohydrate utilization and diagnostic enzyme activity. Twenty-one unique strains were then chosen for(More)
Cell wall lytic enzymes have been of increasing interest as antimicrobials for targeting Gram-positive spoilage and pathogenic bacteria, largely due to the development of strains resistant to antibiotics and bacteriophage therapy. Such lysins show considerable promise against Listeria monocytogenes, a primary concern in food-processing environments, but(More)
Brassicales contain a myrosinase enzyme that hydrolyzes glucosinolates to form toxic isothiocyanates (ITC), as a defense against bacteria, fungi, insects and herbivores including man. Low levels of ITC trigger a host defense system in mammals that protects them against chronic diseases. Because humans typically cook their brassica vegetables, destroying(More)
The rise in consumption of Hispanic-style cheeses (HSC), due in large part to the increasing Hispanic population in the United States, has not been met with advances in food safety sufficient to prevent the numerous outbreaks and recalls due to Listeria monocytogenes. Hispanic-style cheeses are typically high moisture and have low salt content and low(More)
We have sought a universal platform for elucidating and exploiting specificity of glycan-mediated adhesion by potentially uncharacterized microorganisms. Several techniques exist to explore microbial interactions with carbohydrate structures. Many are unsuitable for investigating specific mechanisms or uncharacterized organisms, requiring pure cultures,(More)
Of 20 Lactobacillus and 8 Bifidobacterium species examined, only Bifidobacterium breve ATCC 15700 was able to ferment starch from fava beans. Bifidobacterium breve ATCC 15700 and Lactobacillus rhamnosus GG ATCC 53103 were selected as probiotics for use in fresh-style Panela cheese. Two types of fresh cheese (with and without 3% fava bean starch) were(More)
Our objective was to assess the antimicrobial efficacy of a Listeria bacteriophage endolysin that may address limitations of current antilisterial processes for fresh cheeses. Listeria monocytogenes is highly problematic in the manufacture and processing of ready-to-eat foods due to its environmental persistence and its ability to grow under refrigerated(More)
Hispanic-style fresh cheeses, such as queso fresco, have relatively low salt content, high water activity, and near neutral pH, which predisposes them to growth of Listeria monocytogenes. Biosafety constraints limit the incorporation of L. monocytogenes into cheeses manufactured via traditional methods in challenge studies, so few have focused on in situ(More)
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