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Initial adhesion of Listeria monocytogenes to solid surfaces under liquid flow
- Szlavik, Julie, Paiva, Dionisio S., Mørk, Nils, van den Berg, Frans, Verran, Jo, Whitehead, Kathryn, Knøchel, Susanne, Nielsen, Dennis S.
- International journal of food microbiology 2012 v.152 no.3 pp. 181-188
- Listeria monocytogenes, adhesion, beef extracts, casein, contact angle, food processing, glass, hydrophobicity, microscopy, milk, nutrient availability, pathogens, shear stress, sodium chloride, solvents, strain differences
- Some strains of the food borne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes persist in food processing environments. The exact reason behind this phenomenon is not known, but strain differences in the ability to adhere to solid surfaces could offer an explanation. In the present work, initial adhesion of nine strains of L. monocytogenes was investigated under liquid flow at two levels of shear stress on six different surfaces using a flow chamber set-up with microscopy measurements. The surfaces tested were glass and PVC, and glass coated with beef extract, casein, and homogenised and unhomogenised milk. In addition, the effect of prior environmental stress (5% NaCl, low nutrient availability) on initial adhesion was investigated. The hydrophobicity of the investigated surfaces was determined by contact angle measurements and the surface properties of the investigated L. monocytogenes strains were determined using Microbial Adhesion To Solvents (MATS). All surfaces with the exception of PVC were found to be hydrophilic. Strain differences were found to significantly influence the initial adhesion rate (IAR) of all nine strains to all the surfaces (p<0.05) at both low and high shear stress. Furthermore, there was a significant effect of the surfaces tested (p<0.05) in the adhesion ability of almost all strains. The IAR was affected by flow rate (shear stress) as seen by a decrease in adhesion at high shear stress for most strains. A significant effect of interactions between strain-surface and strain-shear stress (p<0.001) was observed but not of interactions between surface-shear stress. No correlation between surface hydrophobicity and IAR was observed. Addition of 5% NaCl during propagation resulted in a decrease in IAR whilst propagation in low nutrient media caused an increase indicating a general change in surface characteristics under these conditions. Known persisting strains did not display general better adherence.