Does blue cheese alter antibiotic resistance?

25 September 2011

Question

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 - It's not a problem because the mould in cheese making doesn't produce Penicillin, it's actually a different species that's used to make Penicillin.Chris - Well that's reassuring. So the species that's used to make blue cheese is Penicillium roqueforti?Martin - Yes.Chris - And it's related but you couldn't 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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