Skip to main content

Production of biogenic amines by Morganella morganii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Hafnia alvei using a rapid HPLC method


The histidine decarboxylating activity and production of biogenic amines by Morganella morganii (NCIMB, 10466), Klebsiella pneumoniae (NCIMB, 673) and Hafnia alvei (NCIMB, 11999) were investigated using a rapid HPLC method. Derivatisation of the bacterial samples was carried out using benzoyl chloride. A gradient elution system was used for analysis with a mixture of acetonitrile and HPLC grade water. Bacterial strains not only produce histamine in histidine-enriched broth but also the other biogenic amines. The chromatographic results show that bacterial strains are also capable of producing spermine and spermidine in histidine-enriched broth. Bacterial ammonia production by all three strains was clearly detected since ammonia is generated during the degradation of histidine. The study demonstrates that the highest histamine production was obtained by Morganella morganii, followed by Klebsiella pneumoniae, and the lowest with the Hafnia alvei. Therefore, Morganella morganii and Klebsiella pneumoniae have strong histidine decarboxylase activity since they are prolific histamine-forming bacteria

This is a preview of subscription content, access via your institution.

Fig. 1
Fig. 2
Fig. 3
Fig. 4


  1. Niven CF, Jeffrey MB Jr, Corlett DA Jr (1981) Appl Environ Microbiol 41(1):321–322

    PubMed  Google Scholar 

  2. Taylor SL, Woychik NA (1982) J Food Prot 45(8):747–751

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  3. Omura Y, Price RJ, Olcott HS (1978) J Food Sci 43(6):1779–1781

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  4. Yoshinaga DH, Frank HA (1982) Appl Environ Microbiol 44(2):447–52

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  5. Baranowski J (1985) In: Pan BS, James D (eds) Histamine in marine products: Production by bacteria, measurement and prediction of formation, vol 252. FAO Fish Technology Paper, pp. 10–13

  6. Klausen NK, Huss HH (1987) Int J Food Microbiol 5(2):137–146

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  7. Actis LA, Smoot JC, Barancin CE, Findlay RH (1999) J Microbiol Methods 39(1):79–90

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  8. Yamani MI, Untermann F (1985) Int J Food Microbiol 2(5):273–278

    Article  CAS  Google Scholar 

  9. Jorgensen LV, Huss HH, Dalgaard P (2000) J Appl Microbiol 89:920–934

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  10. Marino M, Maifreni M, Moret S, Rondinini G (2000) Lett Appl Microbiol 31(2):169–173

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  11. Rodriguez-Jerez JJ, Grassi MA, Civera T (1994) J Food Prot 57(11):1019–1021

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  12. Lerke PA, Porcuna MN, Chin HB (1983) J Food Sci 48:155–157

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  13. Silla-Santos SMH (1996) Int J Food Microbiol 29:213–231

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  14. Rawles DD, Flick GJ, Martin RE (1996) Adv Food Nutr Res 39:329–365

    CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  15. Ferencik M (1970) J Hygiene Epidemiol Microbiol Immunol 14(1):52–60

    CAS  Google Scholar 

  16. Lehane L, Olley J (2000) Int J Food Microbiol 58:1–37

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

  17. Lopez-Sabater EI, Rodriguez-Jerez JJ, Roig-Sagues AX, Mora-Ventura MAT (1994) J Food Prot 57:318–323

    Google Scholar 

  18. Lopez-Sabater EI, Rodriguez-Jerez JJ, Hernandez-Herrero, M, Mora-Ventura MT (1996) Int J Food Microbiol 28(3): 411–418

    Article  CAS  PubMed  Google Scholar 

Download references

Author information

Authors and Affiliations


Corresponding author

Correspondence to F. Özoğul.

Rights and permissions

Reprints and Permissions

About this article

Cite this article

Özoğul, F. Production of biogenic amines by Morganella morganii, Klebsiella pneumoniae and Hafnia alvei using a rapid HPLC method. Eur Food Res Technol 219, 465–469 (2004).

Download citation

  • Received:

  • Revised:

  • Published:

  • Issue Date:

  • DOI:


  • Biogenic amine production
  • Histidine
  • Histamine
  • Morganella morganii
  • Klebsiella pneumoniae
  • Hafnia alvei