Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 12/1/2003
Publication Date: 8/1/2004
Citation: Novak, J.S., Fratamico, P.M. 2004. Quorum sensing and food safety. Meeting Abstract. S-11.
Technical Abstract: Quorum sensing is the term used to describe the process of cell-to-cell communication via the production of small extracellular signaling molecules (autoinducers) that accumulate in proportion to cell population density. The extracellular signals can act upon specific sets of target genes by a variety of mechanisms resulting in the modulation of a number of cellular functions, including antibiotic production, biofilm development, sporulation, and toxin production. Knowledge is scarce, however, concerning the role of cell-to-cell signaling in food spoilage or on the growth, survival, and virulence expression of pathogens in food environments. In efforts to enhance food safety, it may be feasible to design strategies to alter quorum sensing-regulated behaviors of pathogens in foods. This symposium will cover topics on different quorum sensing mechanisms and regulators that function in bacteria, in particular, in pathogens of concern to the food industry, including E. coli O157:H7, Listeria monocytogenes, and spore-formers. Emphasis will be directed toward understanding factors in food environments that may have an effect on cell-to-cell signaling and on the development of potential interventions that can be employed to control or inhibit quorum sensing, ultimately impacting food safety.