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Dietary Proteins Extend the Survival of Salmonella Dublin in a Gastric Acid Environment

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The pH of the human stomach is dynamic and changes over time, depending on the composition of the food ingested and a number of host-related factors such as age. To evaluate the number of bacteria surviving the gastric acid barrier, we have developed a simple gastric acid model, in which we mimicked the dynamic pH changes in the human stomach. In the present study, model gastric fluid was set up to imitate pH dynamics in the stomachs of young and elderly people after ingestion of a standard meal. To model a serious foodborne pathogen, we followed the survival of Salmonella enterica serotype Dublin, and found that the addition of proteins such as pepsin, ovalbumin, and blended turkey meat to the simple gastric acid model significantly delayed pathogen inactivation compared with the control, for which no proteins were added. In contrast, no delay in inactivation was observed in the presence of bovine serum albumin, indicating that protection could be protein specific. The simple gastric acid model was validated against a more laborious and complex fermenter model, and similar survival of Salmonella Dublin was observed in both models. Our gastric acid model allowed us to evaluate the influence of food components on survival of pathogens under gastric conditions, and the model could contribute to a broader understanding of the impact of specific food components on the inactivation of pathogens during gastric passage.

Document Type: Research Article


Affiliations: 1: National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, 2860 Søborg, Denmark 2: Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, University of Copenhagen, Faculty of Life Sciences, Stigbøjlen 4, 1870 Frederiksberg C, Denmark 3: National Institute for Public Health and Environment, Laboratory for Zoonoses and Environmental Microbiology, Bilthoven, The Netherlands 4: National Food Institute, Technical University of Denmark, Mørkhøj Bygade 19, 2860 Søborg, Denmark.

Publication date: February 1, 2012

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