Skip to main content
SLU publication database (SLUpub)

Research article2018Peer reviewedOpen access

Screening of intact yeasts and cell extracts to reduce Scrapie prions during biotransformation of food waste

Huyben, David; Boqvist, Sofia; Passoth, Volkmar; Renstrom, Lena; Bengtsson, Ulrika Allard; Andreoletti, Olivier; Kiessling, Anders; Lundh, Torbjorn; Vagsholm, Ivar


Yeasts can be used to convert organic food wastes to protein-rich animal feed in order to recapture nutrients. However, the reuse of animal-derived waste poses a risk for the transmission of infectious prions that can cause neurodegeneration and fatality in humans and animals. The aim of this study was to investigate the ability of yeasts to reduce prion activity during the biotransformation of waste substrates-thereby becoming a biosafety hurdle in such a circular food system. During pre-screening, 30 yeast isolates were spiked with Classical Scrapie prions and incubated for 72 h in casein substrate, as a waste substitute. Based on reduced Scrapie seeding activity, waste biotransformation and protease activities, intact cells and cell extracts of 10 yeasts were further tested. Prion analysis showed that five yeast species reduced Scrapie seeding activity by approximately 1 log10 or 90%. Cryptococcus laurentii showed the most potential to reduce prion activity since both intact and extracted cells reduced Scrapie by 1 log10 and achieved the highest protease activity. These results show that select forms of yeast can act as a prion hurdle during the biotransformation of waste. However, the limited ability of yeasts to reduce prion activity warrants caution as a sole barrier to transmission as higher log reductions are needed before using waste-cultured yeast in circular food systems.


Food waste; Prions; Protease; Yeast

Published in

Acta Veterinaria Scandinavica
2018, Volume: 60, article number: 9