Main content area

A pediocin-producing Lactobacillus plantarum strain inhibits Listeria monocytogenes in a multispecies cheese surface microbial ripening consortium

Loessner, M., Guenther, S., Steffan, S., Scherer, S.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2003 v.69 no.3 pp. 1854-1857
soft cheeses, cheese ripening, Lactobacillus plantarum, cheese starters, bacteriocins, antibacterial properties, Listeria monocytogenes, food pathogens, food contamination, bacterial contamination, food surfaces, biological resistance
The growth of Listeria monocytogenes WSLC 1364, originating from a cheese-borne outbreak, was examined in the presence and in the absence of a pediocin AcH-producing Lactobacillus plantarum strain on red smear cheese. Nearly complete inhibition was observed at 10(2) CFU of L. monocytogenes per ml of salt brine solution, while contamination with Listeria mutants resistant to pediocin resulted in high cell counts of the pathogen on the cheese surface. The inhibition was due to pediocin AcH added together with the L. plantarum culture to the brine solution but not to bacteriocin production in situ on cheese. Pediocin resistance developed in vitro at different but high frequencies in all 12 L. monocytogenes strains investigated, and a resistant mutant remained stable in a microbial surface ripening consortium over a 4-month production process in the absence of selection pressure. In conclusion, the addition of a L. plantarum culture is a potent measure for combating Listeria in a contaminated production line, but because of the potential development of resistance, it should not be used continuously over a long time in a production line.