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The impact of growth history and flagellation on the adhesion of various Listeria monocytogenes strains to polystyrene

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The contribution of growth history and flagella to adhesion of Listeria monocytogenes was analysed. An in-frame deletion on the flagellin encoding gene (flaA) was performed in L. monocytogenes EGD-e to compare its adhesion ability with the parental strain, after cultivation at various pH values and temperatures. The pH, as well as the temperature, affected the adhesion of L. monocytogenes EGD-e. In addition, the adhesion of L. monocytogenes EGD-e was reduced in energy-depressed cells. Conversely, the physicochemical bacterial surface characteristics affected by growth history did not influence the adhesion. Adhesion variations observed among environmental and clinical strains was attributed to the flagella. The naturally aflagellated strains resulted in an adhesion capacity similar to that observed for mutants and parental strains cultivated under flagellum expression repressing conditions. However, L. monocytogenes is able to adhere to inert surfaces through a residual adhesion process without flagella. All these observations emphasize the importance to consider the food environmental factors in the risk assessment of L. monocytogenes in food industry.

La contribution de l’historique de croissance et du flagelle dans l’adhérence de Listeria monocytogenes a été analysée. Une délétion en phase du gène codant la flagelline (flaA) a été réalisée chez L. monocytogenes EGD-e afin de comparer ses capacités d’adhérence à celles de la souche sauvage, après culture à différents pH et températures. Le pH et la température ont affecté l’adhérence de L. monocytogenes EGD-e. De plus, l’adhérence de L. monocytogenes EGD-e était réduite chez les cellules privées d’énergie. À l’inverse, les caractéristiques physicochimiques des éléments de surface bactériens affectés par l’historique de croissance n’influençaient pas l’adhérence. Les variations d’adhérence observées parmi les isolats environnementaux et cliniques ont été attribuées au flagelle. Les souches naturellement sans flagelle adhéraient de la même façon que les souches mutantes ou les souches sauvages cultivées sous des conditions de répression de l’expression du flagelle. Cependant, L. monocytogenes est capable d’adhérer à des surfaces inertes via un processus d’adhérence résiduel sans flagelle. Toutes ces observations soulignent l’importance de considérer les facteurs alimentaires environnementaux lors de l’évaluation du risque que constitue L. monocytegenes dans l’industrie alimentaire.

Document Type: Research Article

Publication date: February 1, 2009

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  • Published since 1954, this monthly journal contains new research in the field of microbiology including applied microbiology and biotechnology; microbial structure and function; fungi and other eucaryotic protists; infection and immunity; microbial ecology; physiology, metabolism and enzymology; and virology, genetics, and molecular biology. It also publishes review articles and notes on an occasional basis, contributed by recognized scientists worldwide.
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