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J Appl Microbiol. 1999 Apr;86(4):576-82.

Adherence of Listeria monocytogenes strains to stainless steel coupons.

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Department of Food Science (Food Microbiology), Queen's University of Belfast, UK.


An assay was developed to measure the number of Listeria monocytogenes cells adhering to stainless steel, and was used to investigate the adherence of 111 strains of the organism, which included representatives with respect to serotype, carriage of plasmids, source and persistence in the food processing environment. Growth and adherence curves of four L. monocytogenes strains over 48 h were obtained. While the growth curves of all four micro-organisms were seen to reach similar levels at stationary phase, there was still substantial variation among the adherence curves. In addition, a scatter-graph of growth vs adherence counts at 24 h showed poor correlation. These factors indicated that interstrain variation in adherence at stationary phase is due to factor(s) intrinsic to each strain of L. monocytogenes. Persistent strains were found to adhere in significantly greater numbers than sporadic strains, and variation was also found among serotypes, with serotype 1/2c showing significantly greater adherence than serotypes 1/2a and 4b; 4b strains were significantly higher than those of 1/2a strains. No significant difference was found between strains according to source or plasmid carriage.

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