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Int J Food Microbiol. 2013 Jul 1;165(1):35-42. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2013.04.014. Epub 2013 Apr 26.

Initial adhesion of Listeria monocytogenes to fine polished stainless steel under flow conditions is determined by prior growth conditions.

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Department of Food Science, Section for Food Microbiology, Faculty of Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Denmark.


Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne pathogen known to persist in food production environments, where it is able to attach and form biofilms, potentially contaminating food products ready for consumption. In this study the first step in the establishment of L. monocytogenes in a food-processing environment was examined, namely the initial adhesion to stainless steel under specific dynamic flow conditions. It was found that the intrinsic ability of L. monocytogenes to adhere to solid surfaces under flow conditions is dependent on nutrient availability. The addition of L-leucine to the growth medium altered the fatty acid composition of the L. monocytogenes cells and increased adhesion. The growth conditions resulting in the highest adhesion (growth medium with added glucose) had cells with the highest electron donating and lowest electron accepting properties, whereas growth conditions resulting in lowest adhesion (growth medium with added mannose) had cells with the lowest electron donating properties and highest electron accepting properties. The highest and lowest adhesion conditions correlated with differences in expression of cell surface protein of L. monocytogenes and among these the autolysin amidase (Ami). This study implies that food composition influences the adhesion of L. monocytogenes to solid surfaces during dynamic flow conditions.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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