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Characterization of the Low-Salinity Stress in Vibrio vulnificus

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Vibrio vulnificus is a marine pathogenic bacterium commonly found in seawater or seafood. This organism encounters low-salinity stress in its natural environment and during food processing. This study was designed to investigate the response of V. vulnificus YJ03 to lethal low salinity (0.04% NaCl) and its adaptation to sublethal salinity (0.12% NaCl with 20 amino acids added). A short period in the nonculturable state was induced by lethal low-salinity stress followed by cell death after 30 min of stress. Addition of 1 mM glycine betaine or 0.5 mM sucrose reduced the damage. Low-salinity adaptation was achieved in the exponential-phase cells but not in the stationary-phase cells. Significant protection against lethal low-salinity stress was attained when the cells were adapted for as little as 1.5 min. The adapted cells were significantly protected against lethal low salinity and 2.4% sodium sorbate but sensitized to the challenge of heat (52°C) and acid (pH 3.2). Nonlethal low-salinity treatment of seafood should be avoided to prevent stress adaptation of V. vulnificus.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: Department of Microbiology, Soochow University, Taipei, Taiwan 111, Republic of China

Publication date: February 1, 2008

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