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Int J Food Microbiol. 2003 Dec 15;89(1):77-83.

Inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes by bovicin HC5, a bacteriocin produced by Streptococcus bovis HC5.

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Section of Microbiology, Cornell University, Ithaca, NY 14853, USA.


Cattle can be infected with Listeria monocytogenes by consuming contaminated plant materials, soil or silage, and farmers have sought ways of preventing this contamination. Recent work indicated that Streptococcus bovis HC5 produced a bacteriocin (bovicin HC5) that could inhibit a variety of gram-positive bacteria, and we examined the ability of bovicin HC5 to inhibit 10 strains of L. monocytogenes that had been isolated from plant materials, soil, silage and infected cattle. Growth experiments indicated that all of the L. monocytogenes strains were inhibited by 100 activity units (AU) of bovicin HC5 ml(-1). L. monocytogenes cultures that were transferred with sublethal doses (12.5 AU ml(-1)) could be adapted in stepwise fashion to higher doses of bovicin HC5. However, even 'adapted' cultures did not grow if 400 AU ml(-1) was added. The effect of bovicin HC5 on L. monocytogenes was bactericidal, and viability decreased 5-7 logs after only 2 h of exposure. Bovicin HC5 caused a nearly complete efflux of intracellular potassium in 15 min but only if the pH was less than 6.0. When the pH was greater than 6.0, the cells maintained their potassium pool. L. monocytogenes cells that were acid-adapted (final pH of 4.6) were as sensitive to bovicin HC5 as those that were not acid-adapted (final pH of 6.3). These results support the idea that bovicin HC5 could be effective in controlling listeria in contaminated silages.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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