Science Questions

Does blue cheese alter antibiotic resistance?

Sun, 25th Sep 2011

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Question

Nelson Gichora, via Facebook asked:

I enjoy stilton's blue cheese. However, I wonder if regular consumption of the cheese would contribute to antibiotic resistance given that strains of Penicillium are used in its manufacture?

Answer

Martin -  Itís not a problem because the mould in cheese making doesnít produce Penicillin,  itís actually a different species that's used to make Penicillin.

Chris -  Well that's reassuring.  So the species thatís used to make blue cheese is Penicillium roqueforti?

Martin -  Yes.

Chris -  And itís related but you couldnít make antibiotics with it?

Martin -  No. It's Penicillium chrysogenum and P. notatum that produce Penicillin, the antibiotic.

Chris -  Okay, so if I scrape all the fluff off my bread, I can't argue that I'm going to be pathologically abiotic and noninfected with things because it won't make any antibiotic molecules?

Martin -  No.

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