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Lett Appl Microbiol. 2004;39(4):359-62.

Attachment and biofilm formation on stainless steel by Escherichia coli O157:H7 as affected by curli production.

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1
Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, Griffin, GA 30223-1797, USA.

Abstract

AIMS:

The aim of this study was to determine the role of curli in attachment and biofilm formation by Escherichia coli O157:H7 on stainless steel.

METHODS AND RESULTS:

Three curli-deficient strains (43895-, 43894- and E0018-) and three curli over-producing strains (43895+, 43894+ and E0018+) of E. coli O157:H7 were studied. Stainless steel coupons (SSC) were immersed in cell suspensions of each strain for 24 h at 4 degrees C. The number of cells attached to SSC was determined. To determine the ability of attached cells to form biofilm, SSC were immersed in 10% of tryptic soya broth up to 6 days at 22 degrees C. Curli-deficient and curli-producing strains did not differ in their ability to attach to SSC, but only curli-producing strains formed biofilms.

CONCLUSIONS:

Curli production by E. coli O157:H7 does not affect attachment of cells on stainless steel but curli-producing strains are better able to form biofilms.

SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF THE STUDY:

Curli production by E. coli O157:H7 enhances its ability to form biofilm on stainless steel, thereby potentially resulting in increased difficulty in removing or killing cells by routine cleaning and sanitizing procedures used in food-processing plants.

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