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Cations Reduce Antimicrobial Efficacy of Lysozyme-Chelator Combinations

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Reduction of the antimicrobial efficacy of lysozyme-chelator combinations against two Escherichia coli O157:H7 strains on addition of mineral salts was studied. The objective of the study was to determine the effect of type and concentration of mono-, di-, and trivalent mineral salts on the antimicrobial effectiveness of lysozyme and various chelators against E. coli O157:H7. Seven salts (Al3+, Ca2+, Fe2+, Fe3+, K+, Mg2+, and Na+) at 1 to 10 mM were added to aqueous solutions of lysozyme and disodium ethylenediamine tetraacetic acid (EDTA), disodium pyrophosphate (DSPP), or pentasodium tripolyphosphate (PSTPP) at pH 6, 7, or 8 and applied to cultures of E. coli O157:H7 strains 932 and H1730. Inhibitory activity of lysozyme chelator combinations against both strains was completely lost after addition of ≥1 mM Ca2+ and Mg2+ at pH 7 and 8. At pH 6, antimicrobial activity of lysozyme-EDTA against both strains was retained in the presence of calcium or magnesium cations. DSPP-lysozyme inhibited strain H1730 at pH 6 despite the presence of Mg2+. Concentrations above 4 mM Fe2+ neutralized activity of all lysozyme-chelator combinations. Reversal of inhibition by lysozyme-chelator complexes by the monovalent Na+ and K+ ions depended on E. coli O157:H7 strain type. Neither monovalent cation reversed inhibition of strain 932. However, Na+ and K+ reversed lysozyme-chelator inhibition of strain H1730. The addition of ≥1 mM Fe3+ or Al3+ was effective in reversing inhibition of both strains by lysozyme and EDTA at pH 6, 7, and 8. Isothermal titration calorimetry was used to determine the amount of ion-specific competitive binding of free cations by EDTA-lysozyme combinations. A mechanistic model for the antimicrobial functionality of chelator-lysozyme combinations is proposed.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Food Safety Center of Excellence and Department of Food Science and Technology, The University of Tennessee, 2605 River Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4591 2: Food Safety Center of Excellence, The University of Tennessee, 2605 River Drive, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996-4591; and Department of Biochemistry and Molecular and Cell Biology, The University of Tennessee, 443 Walter Life Sciences, Knoxville, Tennessee 37996, USA

Publication date: February 1, 2004

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