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J Appl Microbiol. 2002;92(2):352-61.

Differential efficacy of a chlorine dioxide-containing sanitizer against single species and binary biofilms of a dairy-associated Bacillus cereus and a Pseudomonas fluorescens isolate.

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1
School of Molecular and Cell Biology, University of the Witwatersrand, Wits, South Africa.

Abstract

AIMS:

Daily exposure to 100 p.p.m. chlorine dioxide of single species and binary biofilms of dairy-associated Bacillus cereus DL5 and Pseudomonas fluorescens M2, attached to stainless steel surfaces in a laboratory flow system, was studied.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Surfaces were sampled daily before and after sanitizer treatment and cells and spores dislodged and enumerated by standard methods. Duplicate surfaces were prepared for confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM) and scanning electron microscopy. Higher counts of Ps. fluorescens M2 were obtained in single species biofilms, microcolonies stained green (viable) in CSLM images and were closely packed on attachment surfaces. By contrast, higher counts of B. cereus DL5 were obtained in binary biofilms, microcolonies stained green in CSLM images, but were more spread out. Lower spore counts were obtained for B. cereus DL5 in binary biofilms. The survival of Ps. fluorescens M2 cells after exposure to chlorine dioxide was apparently enhanced by the presence of B. cereus DL5 in binary biofilms. By contrast, B. cereus DL5 showed increased susceptibility to sanitizer treatment in the presence of Ps. fluorescens M2.

CONCLUSIONS:

Co-cultured bacteria in biofilms influence each other with respect to attachment capabilities and sanitizer resistance/susceptibility.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Binary biofilms endemic in food-processing industries can survive sanitation regimes and may represent reservoirs of product contamination leading to subsequent spoilage and/or food safety risks.

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