Sugar-Rich Foods Carry Osmotolerant Yeasts with Intracellular Helicobacter Pylori and Staphylococcus spp.

Farideh Siavoshi, Marzieh Sahraee, Samira Heydari, Abdolfatah Sarrafnejad, Parastoo Saniee, Atefeh Tavakolian, Sheida Heidarian



Sugar-rich foods are of the main components of daily human meals. These foods with high sugar and low water content kill bacteria. However, osmotolerant yeasts survive and multiply. The aim of this study was to examine the occurrence of intracellular Helicobacter pylori (H. pylori) and Staphylococcus spp. in yeast isolates from sugar-rich foods.


 Thirty-two yeast isolates from fresh fruits, dried fruits, commercial foods, and miscellaneous foods were identified by the sequencing of amplified products of 26S rDNA. Fluorescence microscopy and LIVE/DEAD bacterial viability kit were used to examine the occurrence of live bacteria inside the yeast’s vacuole. Immunofluorescence assay was used to confirm the identity of intracellular bacteria as H. pylori and Staphylococcus. Polymerase chain reaction (PCR) was used for the detection of 16S rDNA of H. pylori and Staphylococcus in the total DNA of yeasts.


Yeasts were identified as members of seven genera; Candida, Saccharomyces, Zygosaccharomyces, Pichia, Meyerozyma, Metschnikowia, and Wickerhamomyces. Intravacuolar bacteria were stained green with a bacterial viability kit, revealing that they were alive. Immunofluorescence assay confirmed the identity of intracellular H. pylori and Staphylococcus spp. PCR results revealed that among the 32 isolated yeasts, 53% were H. pylori-positive, 6% were Staphylococcus-positive, 18.7% were positive for both, and 21.8% were negative for both.


 Detection of H. pylori- and Staphylococcus-16S rDNA in yeast isolates from dried fruits, and commercial foods showed the occurrence of more than one kind of endosymbiotic bacterium in yeasts’ vacuoles. While the establishment of H. pylori and Staphylococcus in yeast is a sophisticated survival strategy, yeast serves as a potent bacterial reservoir.


Sugar-rich foods; Yeast; Intracellular bacteria; Helicobacter pylori; Staphylococcus spp.

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