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Appl Environ Microbiol. 2012 Apr;78(8):2586-95. doi: 10.1128/AEM.07099-11. Epub 2012 Feb 3.

Differential biofilm formation and chemical disinfection resistance of sessile cells of Listeria monocytogenes strains under monospecies and dual-species (with Salmonella enterica) conditions.

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Department of Food Science and Technology, Laboratory of Microbiology and Biotechnology of Foods, Agricultural University of Athens, Athens, Greece.


This study aimed to investigate the possible influence of bacterial intra- and interspecies interactions on the ability of Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica to develop mixed-culture biofilms on an abiotic substratum, as well as on the subsequent resistance of sessile cells to chemical disinfection. Initially, three strains from each species were selected and left to attach and form biofilms on stainless steel (SS) coupons incubated at 15°C for 144 h, in periodically renewable tryptone soy broth (TSB), under either monoculture or mixed-culture (mono-/dual-species) conditions. Following biofilm formation, mixed-culture sessile communities were subjected to 6-min disinfection treatments with (i) benzalkonium chloride (50 ppm), (ii) sodium hypochlorite (10 ppm), (iii) peracetic acid (10 ppm), and (iv) a mixture of hydrogen peroxide (5 ppm) and peracetic acid (5 ppm). Results revealed that both species reached similar biofilm counts (ca. 10(5) CFU cm(-2)) and that, in general, interspecies interactions did not have any significant effect either on the biofilm-forming ability (as this was assessed by agar plating enumeration of the mechanically detached biofilm bacteria) or on the antimicrobial resistance of each individual species. Interestingly, pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis clearly showed that the three L. monocytogenes strains did not contribute at the same level either to the formation of mixed-culture sessile communities (mono-/dual species) or to their antimicrobial recalcitrance. Additionally, the simultaneous existence inside the biofilm structure of S. enterica cells seemed to influence the occurrence and resistance pattern of L. monocytogenes strains. In sum, this study highlights the impact of microbial interactions taking place inside a mixed-culture sessile community on both its population dynamics and disinfection resistance.

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