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Milk reduces bacterial activity

It has been shown in cultured intestinal cells that the pathogenic ability of Campylobacter bacteria is strongly inhibited by pasteurized milk and baby milk.

melkThis is the first time that it has been shown that pasteurized milk, i.e. milk that has been briefly heated, has an effect on the activity of Campylobacter. Dr. Rogier Louwen has written an article on this in the medical journal European Journal of microbiology and immunology.

Pasteurization process
Together with dairy producer FrieslandCampina, the group led by Dr. Rogier Louwen, researcher at the department of Medical Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, investigated whether the pasteurization process of milk affects the pathogenic ability of Campylobacter when this bacteria comes into contact with these pasteurized milk types. Louwen and his group discovered that pasteurized and baby milk are able to strongly inhibit the pathogenic ability of these bacteria.  

Further research is needed to determine the contents of these milk products that cause this inhibition and whether these substances could also inhibit the pathogenic ability of other bacteria, such as Salmonella, Vibrio cholera and E. coli.

Preventing infections
Pasteurized milk and baby milk are important sources of nutrients. Little is known about whether these milks also have functional effects such as preventing infections. Raw milk is a known source of infection with, among others, the diarrhea-causing bacteria Campylobacter. Louis Pasteur discovered that the brief heating (pasteurization) of raw milk could efficiently kill pathogenic microorganisms, such as Campylobacter.

Read the full press release.

Date published: 15 September 2015.

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