Preliminary investigation on the microbiological quality of edible marine gastropods of the Adriatic Sea, Italy

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Patrizia Serratore *
Emanuele Zavatta
Giorgia Bignami
Luna Lorito
(*) Corresponding Author:
Patrizia Serratore |


According to the European Legislation, marine gastropods placed unprocessed on the market must comply with the same requirements established for live bivalve molluscs but, being considered not filterfeeding and unable to concentrate fecal contaminants, they may be harvested outside the classified areas. Despite this statement, little scientific information is available on the microbiological quality of these animals. The aim of the present study was to investigate 28 batches of edible snails of the Adriatic Sea, namely Nassarius mutabilis and Bolinus brandaris, with respect to i) smell and viability, by a method here reported; ii) the bacterial component of the whole body referred to E. coli, Vibrio spp., V. parahaemolyticus, V. vulnificus, V. cholerae and V. alginolyticus. A total of 21 batches of N. mutabilis and 7 batches of B. brandaris were analyzed. Batches of both species retrieved from the primary production were all largely composed of viable animals, had saltwater/neutral smell, and showed mean value of Vibrio spp. of 5,34 and 5,79 log10 UFC g-1 in N. mutabilis and B. brandaris respectively. 47% of the batches of N. mutabilis retrieved from the market, were largely composed of dead animals, had acrid/nasty smell, and showed mean value of Vibrio spp. of 6,53 log10 UFC g-1. E. coli, V. vulnificus and V. cholerae were never detected, but all samples were positive for V. alginolyticus. One sample of B. brandaris was positive for V. parahaemolyticus genotyped by PCR at the specie level (ToxR+) and positive for the thermostable direct hemolysin gene (tdh+).

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