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Increased adhesion of listeria monocytogenes strains to abiotic surfaces under cold stress

Abstract : Food contamination by Listeria monocytogenes remains a major concern for some food processing chains, particularly for ready-to-eat foods, including processed foods. Bacterial adhesion on both biotic and abiotic surfaces is a source of contamination by pathogens that have become more tolerant or even persistent in food processing environments, including in the presence of adverse conditions such as cold and dehydration. The most distinct challenge that bacteria confront upon entry into food processing environments is the sudden downshift in temperature, and the resulting phenotypic effects are of interest. Crystal violet staining and the BioFilm Ring Test (R) were applied to assess the adhesion and biofilm formation of 22 listerial strains from different serogroups and origins under cold-stressed and cold-adapted conditions. The physicochemical properties of the bacterial surface were studied using the microbial adhesion to solvent technique. Scanning electron microscopy was performed to visualize cell morphology and biofilm structure. The results showed that adhesion to stainless-steel and polystyrene was increased by cold stress, whereas cold-adapted cells remained primarily in planktonic form. Bacterial cell surfaces exhibited electron-donating properties regardless of incubation temperature and became more hydrophilic as temperature decreased from 37 to 4 degrees C. Moreover, the adhesion of cells grown at 4 degrees C correlated with affinity for ethyl acetate, indicating the role of cell surface properties in adhesion.
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Bo-Hyung Lee, Michel Hébraud, Thierry Bernardi. Increased adhesion of listeria monocytogenes strains to abiotic surfaces under cold stress. Frontiers in Microbiology, Frontiers Media, 2017, 8, ⟨10.3389/fmicb.2017.02221⟩. ⟨hal-02620644⟩

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