Skip to main content
ARS Home » Plains Area » College Station, Texas » Southern Plains Agricultural Research Center » Food and Feed Safety Research » Research » Publications at this Location » Publication #271777

Title: Invasion and survival of Salmonella in the environment: The role of biofilm

item Sheffield, Cynthia
item Crippen, Tawni - Tc

Submitted to: Book Chapter
Publication Type: Book / Chapter
Publication Acceptance Date: 9/15/2011
Publication Date: 1/20/2012
Citation: Sheffield, C.L., Crippen, T.L. 2012. Invasion and survival of Salmonella in the environment: The role of biofilm. In: Kumar, Y., editor. Salmonella-A Diversified Superbug. Rijeka, Croatia: InTech Publishers. p. 3-28.

Interpretive Summary:

Technical Abstract: This chapter is a platform for the discussion of recent research findings and developments concerning the invasion and survival of Salmonella and other pathogenic bacteria which thrive within biofilms in the environment. The formation of bacterial biofilms is fundamentally related to environmental survivability of various pathogens including Salmonella. Salmonellosis, caused by Salmonella, is one of the most common and widely distributed foodborne illnesses. It represents a major public health dilemma that results in significant cost burdens in many countries. Millions of human cases are reported annually, worldwide resulting in thousands of deaths. Currently, over 2500 known serotypes of Salmonella exist. Background on the importance of biofilm formation to bacterial persistence in the environment, with special emphasis on the poultry industry, both pre and post-harvest will be provided. The biofilm matrix plays an important role in immune evasion and tolerance toward antibacterial agents of many biofilm-forming bacteria. The presence of these organisms in biofilms can serve as an enduring source of contamination in the food production and processing environment. This is a particular problem because of the effects of biofilms on the virulence of pathogens in the environment. Evidence supporting the viewpoint that biofilm formation in itself should be considered a virulence factor for Salmonella will be presented along with virulence survival and resistance characteristics of biofilms and the phylogenic differences found among intestinal bacterial biofilm populations and their planktonic counterparts. The implications of a significant increase in the production of virulence factors with regard to infection control as biofilm maturation progresses will be discussed. The chapter will provide the reader with an understanding of some of the key characteristics of biofilms and recognition of how microorganisms that are part of a biofilm are different from those same microorganisms in a planktonic setting. Other topics will include: the effect of biofilms’ dynamic and responsive nature to their environment and how that allows them to adapt to changes in their environment; the importance of the phenomenon known as detachment which is common among biofilms; the variety of ways biofilms migrate across surfaces; and the repercussion biofilm formation has on current Salmonella management procedures and methods of control.