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Int J Food Microbiol. 2007 Sep 30;118(3):241-9. Epub 2007 Jul 31.

Establishment of procedures provoking sub-lethal injury of Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli O157 to serve method performance testing.

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Laboratory of Food Microbiology and Food Preservation, Department of Food Safety and Food Quality, Faculty of Bioscience Engineering, Ghent University, Belgium.


In this study procedures provoking sub-lethal injury for three different pathogens are described which may be used in determination of accuracy and robustness of methods, comparison studies and or validation of rapid detection methods. Three common food-borne pathogens were used, Listeria monocytogenes, Campylobacter jejuni and Escherichia coli O157. The pathogens were exposed to heat stress, cold stress, freeze stress, acid stress, oxidative stress and "food" stress. Sub-lethal injury was determined by plating in parallel on selective and non-selective media. The statistical significant differences in enumeration were established. The choice of stress to create sub-lethal injury to cells depended on the fact that the procedure must be easy to handle, repeatable and relevant for stress conditions in foods, but also on the micro-organism itself. Oxidative stress (1000 microM H(2)O(2)) was chosen to impose sub-lethal injury on L. monocytogenes and a specific "food" stress for E. coli O157. For C. jejuni a specific "food" stress as well as the oxidative stress (750 microM H(2)O(2)) were capable of creating a standardized procedure of provoking injury.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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