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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2003 Dec;69(12):7514-6.

Effect of food processing-related stresses on acid tolerance of Listeria monocytogenes.

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  • 1Center for Red Meat Safety, Department of Animal Sciences, Colorado State University, Fort Collins, Colorado 80523,USA.


Stationary-phase cells of Listeria monocytogenes grown in glucose-free or glucose-containing media were exposed for 90 min to various stresses, including acid stress (pH 4.0 to 7.0), osmotic stress (10.5 to 20.5% NaCl), and various temperatures (-5 to 50 degrees C), and were further exposed to pH 3.5. Exposure to a mildly acidic (pH 5.0 to 6.0) environment provided protection of the pathogen against acid upon subsequent exposure. This adaptive response, however, was found to be strongly dependent on other environmental conditions during the shock, such as temperature or the simultaneous presence of a second stress factor (NaCl). Growth of L. monocytogenes in the presence of glucose resulted in enhanced survival of the pathogen at pH 3.5. Sublethal stresses other than acidic stresses, i.e., osmotic, heat, and low-temperature stresses, did not affect the acid resistance of L. monocytogenes (P > 0.5). More-severe levels of these stresses, however, resulted in sensitization of the pathogen to acid.

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