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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2000 Sep;31(3):233-7.

Transient sensitivity to nisin in cold-shocked Gram negatives.

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School of Biological Sciences, University of Surrey, Guildford, UK.


Rapid chilling in the presence of nisin caused a dose-dependent reduction in the populations of several Gram-negative bacteria, despite the fact that appreciable structural injury to the outer membrane was not detected. Pseudomonas aeruginosa was most affected, followed by Pseudomonas fragi, Salmonella enteritidis PT4, PT7 and Escherichia coli, respectively. Addition of nisin after the chilling treatment had no effect. The results are ascribed to a transient susceptibility caused by phase changes in the lipids associated with the outer membrane, which are rapidly reversed when the cells return to higher temperatures. Combinations of chilling shock, nisin and EDTA gave much lower reductions of Salmonella and Pseudomonas on chicken skin in comparison with broths. This is attributed to a buffering of the temperature shock experienced by adherent bacteria and binding of the nisin by food particles.

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