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Int J Food Microbiol. 2010 Jan 1;136(3):278-82. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2009.09.024. Epub 2009 Oct 4.

Arginine and lysine decarboxylases and the acid tolerance response of Salmonella Typhimurium.

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1
Departamento de Higiene y Tecnología de los Alimentos, Facultad de Veterinaria, Universidad de León, 24071 León, Spain.

Abstract

Salmonella Typhimurium CECT 443 inactivation at pH 2.5 in Mineral Medium (MM) and MM supplemented with 0.01% (w/v) arginine, lysine or glutamic acid was studied using stationary-phase cells grown in buffered BHI pH 7.0 (non-acid adapted cells) and acidified BHI up to pH 4.5 with acetic, citric, lactic and hydrochloric acids (acid adapted cells). In all cases, acid adapted cells, with D-values ranging from 23.34 to 86.90 min, showed a significantly higher acid resistance than non-acid adapted cells, with D-values between 8.90 and 10.29 min. Whereas the conditions used for acid adaptation did not exert a significant effect on the acid resistance of the S. Typhimurium CECT 443 resulting cells, the inclusion of lysine and arginine in the challenge medium protected them against acid inactivation, reaching D-values of about 2 and 3 times higher, respectively, than those found in MM or MM supplemented with glutamic acid. None of these three amino acids significantly modified the acid resistance of non-acid adapted cells. The relative expression level of adiA (encoding the arginine decarboxylase), adiY (encoding the transcriptional activator of adiA), cadA (encoding the lysine decarboxylase) and cadB (encoding the lysine/cadaverine transport protein) was examined by quantitative PCR. Acid adapted cells showed higher relative expression levels for both systems, arginine decarboxylase and lysine decarboxylase, which demonstrates that the induction of specialized pH-homeostatic systems plays an important role in S. Typhimurium CECT 443 protection against acid stress. However, the increased acid resistance showed by acid adapted cells challenged in MM arginine or lysine free suggests the existence of other microbial survival strategies.

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