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United States Department of Agriculture

Agricultural Research Service

Research Project: MOLECULAR CHARACTERIZATION OF PATHOGENS AND THEIR RESPONSES TO ENVIRONMENTAL FACTORS

Location: Molecular Characterization of Foodborne Pathogens

Title: Campylobacter: stress responses and biofilm formation

Authors
item Fratamico, Pina
item Gunther, Nereus
item Bagi, Lori

Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Proceedings
Publication Acceptance Date: August 5, 2007
Publication Date: October 22, 2007
Citation: Fratamico, P.M., Gunther, N.W., Bagi, L.K. 2007. Campylobacter: stress responses and biofilm formation. Meeting Abstract.

Technical Abstract: The ability of Campylobacter jejuni to tolerate stresses, including heat and acid stress, in the presence and absence of a competitive microflora was investigated. D-values showed that C. jejuni 81-176 parent and luxS mutant strains were inactivated more rapidly when in the presence of a competitive flora, consisting of Pseudomonas fluorescens and Escherichia coli, than as pure cultures in broth and in ground chicken. Incubation of cultures at 4 degrees C for 72 h resulted in lower D-values for C. jejuni compared to prior incubation at 42 degrees C for 24 h. The presence of a competitive microflora had no notable effect on the acid tolerance (exposure to pH 4) of the C. jejuni wild-type and luxS mutant strains. Furthermore, there was no notable difference in D-values between C. jejuni wild-type and luxS mutant strains, indicating that quorum sensing through the production of AI-2 may not influence heat or acid tolerance of C. jejuni under the conditions examined. The formation of biofilms may be a means by which Campylobacter species are able to persist within an inhospitable environment. In a related study, the biofilm-forming ability of 16 strains representative of 14 of the 16 species comprising the genus Campylobacter was determined on glass, stainless steel, and polystyrene plastic. Of the eight microaerophilic Campylobacter species, including 2 strains each of C. jejuni and Campylobacter fetus, only C. jejuni strain 81-176 reliably produced a visible biofilm on multiple surfaces. Alternately, all six strains of the anaerobic Campylobacter species consistently produced visible biofilms on multiple surfaces. These results suggest a difference in the biofilm forming potential and the morphologies of the bacteria comprising the biofilms formed by anaerobic and microaerophilic species of Campylobacter.

Last Modified: 7/25/2014
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