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Stress, Sublethal Injury, Resuscitation, and Virulence of Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens

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Environmental stress and food preservation methods (e.g., heating, chilling, acidity, and alkalinity) are known to induce adaptive responses within the bacterial cell. Microorganisms that survive a given stress often gain resistance to that stress or other stresses via cross-protection. The physiological state of a bacterium is an important consideration when studying its response to food preservation techniques. This article reviews the various definitions of injury and stress, sublethal injury of bacteria, stresses that cause this injury, stress adaptation, cellular repair and response mechanisms, the role of reactive oxygen species in bacterial injury and resuscitation, and the potential for cross-protection and enhanced virulence as a result of various stress conditions.

Document Type: Review Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824 2: U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Eastern Regional Research Center, 600 East Mermaid Lane, Wyndmoor, Pennsylvania 19038 3: Department of Biosystems and Agricultural Engineering, Michigan State University, East Lansing, Michigan 48824, USA

Publication date: 2009-05-01

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