Send to

Choose Destination
J Food Prot. 2004 Oct;67(10):2123-31.

Attachment and biofilm formation by Escherichia coli O157:H7 on stainless steel as influenced by exopolysaccharide production, nutrient availability, and temperature.

Author information

Center for Food Safety and Department of Food Science and Technology, University of Georgia, 1109 Experiment Street, Griffin, Georgia 30223-1797, USA.


The influence of exopolysaccharide (EPS) production, nutrient availability, and temperature on attachment and biofilm formation by Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains ATCC 43895 (wild type) and 43895-EPS (extensive EPS-producing mutant) on stainless steel coupons (SSCs) was investigated. Cells grown on heated lettuce juice agar and modified tryptic soy agar were suspended in phosphate-buffered saline (PBS). SSCs were immersed in the cell suspension (10(9) CFU/ml) at 4 degrees C for 24 h. Biofilm formation by cells attached to SSCs as affected by immersing in 10% tryptic soy broth (TSB), lettuce juice broth (LJB), and minimal salts broth (MSB) at 12 and 22 degrees C was studied. A significantly lower number of strain 43895-EPS cells, compared to strain ATCC 43895 cells, attached to SSCs during a 24-h incubation (4 degrees C) period in PBS suspension. Neither strain formed a biofilm on SSCs subsequently immersed in 10% TSB or LJB, but both strains formed biofilms in MSB. Populations of attached cells and planktonic cells of strain ATCC 43895 gradually decreased during incubation for 6 days in LJB at 22 degrees C, but populations of strain 43895-EPS remained constant for 6 days at 22 degrees C, indicating that the EPS-producing mutant, compared to the wild-type strain, has a higher tolerance to the low-nutrient environment presented by LJB. It is concluded that EPS production by E. coli O157:H7 inhibits attachment to SSCs and that reduced nutrient availability enhances biofilm formation. Biofilms formed under conditions favorable for EPS production may protect E. coli O157:H7 against sanitizers used to decontaminate lettuce and produce processing environments. Studies are under way to test this hypothesis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

Supplemental Content

Loading ...
Support Center