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Int J Food Microbiol. 2010 Aug 15;142(1-2):97-105. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2010.06.008. Epub 2010 Jun 17.

Changes in Fourier transform infrared spectra of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium and Enteritidis after adaptation to stressful growth conditions.

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Department of Food Hygiene and Technology, Veterinary Faculty, University of León, León, Spain.


The effects of growth conditions (temperature in the range 10-45 degrees C, sodium chloride concentration in the range 0-4%, aerobic vs. anaerobic growth and acidification of the growth medium, up to pH 4.5) on the Fourier transform infrared (FT-IR) spectra of Salmonella enterica serovars Typhimurium and Enteritidis were studied using multivariate statistical methods (Hierarchical Cluster Analysis and Factor Analysis). Although all environmental factors tested affected S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis FT-IR spectra to some extent, growth temperature was the most influential factor within the five spectral regions. The w(4) spectral region (1200 to 900 cm(-1)) was the most variable region, suggesting that S. Typhimurium and S. Enteritidis modulate their cell wall and cell membrane composition in response to shifts in growth temperature. Changes in membrane fluidity were determined by monitoring the vibrational modes of the acyl chain v(s)CH(2) symmetric stretching band by FT-IR spectroscopy. For cells grown in unsupplemented media an increase in growth temperature was linked to a decrease in membrane fluidity. Even though the effect of NaCl concentration, pH and atmosphere was considered of less importance, cells grown in acidified media also showed a reduction in their membrane fluidity, and the addition of sodium chloride to the culture medium was associated with an increase in the bacterial membrane fluidity. These findings can help interpret how important adaptive mechanisms for the survival of pathogenic bacteria in foods are, and show that FT-IR spectroscopy is a useful tool to understand how environmental conditions mimicking those in certain food products affect the cell. Also, FT-IR can be used to perform a rapid discrimination between bacterial phenotypes with different adaptive tolerance responses to environmental stress.

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