Little work has been reported on the use of commercial antimicrobials against foodborne pathogens on duck meat. We investigated the effectiveness of trisodium phosphate (TSP) and sodium hypochlorite (SH) as antimicrobial treatments against Campylobacter and Salmonella on duck meat under simulated commercial water chilling conditions. The results were compared to the same treatments on well-studied chicken meat. A six strain Campylobacter or Salmonella cocktail was inoculated (5 ml) at two dilution levels (10(4) and 10(8) cfu/ml) onto 25 g duck or chicken meat with skin and allowed to attach for 10 min. The meat was exposed to three concentrations of pH adjusted TSP (8, 10 and 12% (w/v), pH 11.5) or SH (40, 50 and 60 ppm, pH 5.5) in 30 ml water under simulated spin chiller conditions (4 °C, agitation) for 10 min. In a parallel experiment the meat was placed in the antimicrobial treatments before inoculation and bacterial cocktails were added to the meat after the antimicrobial solution was removed while all other parameters were maintained. Untreated controls and controls using water were included in all experiments. Bacterial numbers were determined on Campylobacter blood-free selective agar and Mueller Hinton agar or xylose deoxycholate agar and tryptone soya agar using the thin agar layer method for Campylobacter and Salmonella, respectively. All TSP concentrations significantly (p<0.05) reduced numbers of Campylobacter (~1.2-6.4 log cfu/cm(2)) and Salmonella (~0.4-6.6 log cfu/cm(2)) on both duck and chicken meat. On duck meat, numbers of Campylobacter were less than the limit of detection at higher concentrations of TSP and numbers of Salmonella were less than the limit of detection at all concentrations of TSP except one. On chicken meat, numbers of Campylobacter and Salmonella were less than the limit of detection only at the lower inoculum level and higher TSP concentrations. By contrast only some of the concentrations of SH significantly (p<0.05) reduced numbers of Campylobacter and Salmonella (~0.2-1.5 log cfu/cm(2)) on both duck and chicken meats. None of the SH treatments resulted in numbers of either pathogen being less than limit of detection. Results indicate that chicken meat has the ability to effectively protect Campylobacter and Salmonella against the impact of trisodium phosphate and sodium hypochlorite while duck meat does not. This study suggests that trisodium phosphate has a strong potential for application in a commercial poultry processing to reduce Campylobacter and Salmonella specifically on duck meat.
Thermophilic Campylobacter and Salmonella enterica are major causes of gastrointestinal foodborne infection. Survival of these pathogens on food-associated surfaces is a risk contributing to their spread through the food system. This study examined the transfer of two strains each of C. jejuni , C. coli , Salmonella Enteritidis, and Salmonella Typhimurium from chicken meat to a knife or scissors used on either a plastic or wooden cutting board. Each strain of Campylobacter and Salmonella at ∼10(8) CFU mL(-1) was inoculated (5 mL) onto 25 g of chicken meat with skin and allowed to attach (for 10 min). The meat was then cut (20 times per implement) into 1-cm(2) pieces with either a knife or scissors on either a plastic or wooden cutting board. The numbers of pathogens transferred from meat onto cutting implements and cutting board surfaces were enumerated. The surfaces were subsequently either rinsed with water or rinsed with water and wiped with a kitchen towel to mimic commonly used superficial cleaning practices for these implements, and the numbers of pathogens were enumerated again. The bacterial numbers for both pathogens were determined on thin-layer agar. The attachment of the Salmonella strains to chicken meat (∼7.0 to 7.8 log CFU cm(-2)) was higher than the attachment of the Campylobacter strains (∼4.6 to 6.6 log CFU cm(-2)). All four Salmonella strains transferred in higher numbers (∼1.9 to 6.3 log CFU cm(-2)) to all surfaces than did the Campylobacter strains (∼1.1 to 3.9 log CFU cm(-2)). The transfer rates of both pathogens from the chicken meat to all the surfaces examined varied substantially between ∼0 and 21.1%. The highest rate of transfer (∼21.1%) observed was for C. coli 2875 when transferred from the chicken meat to the scissors. Most cleaning treatments reduced the numbers of both pathogens (∼0.3 to 4.1 log CFU cm(-2)) transferred to all the surfaces. Our study gives insights into the risks associated with the transfer of Campylobacter and Salmonella from poultry to the surfaces used in poultry preparation.
The use of simple crude water extracts of common herbs to reduce bacterial attachment may be a cost-effective way to control bacterial foodborne pathogens, particularly in developing countries. The ability of water extracts of three common Malaysian herbs (Andrographis paniculata, Eurycoma longifolia, and Garcinia atroviridis) to modulate hydrophobicity and attachment to surfaces of five food-related bacterial strains (Bacillus cereus ATCC 14576, Escherichia coli ATCC 25922, Pseudomonas aeruginosa ATCC 10145, Salmonella Enteritidis ATCC 13076, Staphylococcus aureus ATCC 25923) were determined. The bacterial attachment to hydrocarbon assay was used to determine bacterial hydrophobicity. Staining and direct microscopic counts were used to determine attachment of bacteria to glass and stainless steel. Plating on selective media was used to determine attachment of bacteria to shrimp. All extracts were capable of either significantly ( P < 0.05) increasing or decreasing bacterial surface hydrophobicity, depending on the herb extract and bacteria combination. Bacterial attachment to all surfaces was either significantly (P < 0.05) increased or decreased, depending on the herb extract and bacteria combination. Overall, hydrophobicity did not show a significant correlation (P > 0.05) to bacterial attachment. For specific combinations of bacteria, surface material, and plant extract, significant correlations (R > 0.80) between hydrophobicity and attachment were observed. The highest of these was observed for S. aureus attachment to stainless steel and glass after treatment with the E. longifolia extract (R = 0.99, P < 0.01). The crude water herb extracts in this study were shown to have the potential to modulate specific bacterial and surface interactions and may, with further work, be useful for the simple and practical control of foodborne pathogens.
Weak organic acids are widely used as preservatives and disinfectants in the food industry. Despite their widespread use, the antimicrobial mode of action of organic acids is still not fully understood. This study investigated the effect of acetic acid on the cell membranes and cellular energy generation of four Salmonella strains. Using a nucleic acid/protein assay, it was established that acetic acid did not cause leakage of intracellular components from the strains. A scanning electron microscopy study further confirmed that membrane disruption was not the antimicrobial mode of action of acetic acid. Some elongated Salmonella cells observed in the micrographs indicated a possibility that acetic acid may inhibit DNA synthesis in the bacterial cells. Using an ATP assay, it was found that at a neutral pH, acetic acid caused cellular energy depletion with an ADP/ATP ratio in the range between 0.48 and 2.63 (p<0.05) that was apparent for the four Salmonella strains. We suggest that this effect was probably due solely to the action of undissociated acid molecules. The antimicrobial effect of acetic acid was better under acidic conditions (ADP/ATP ratio of 5.56 ± 1.27; p<0.05), where the role of both pH and undissociated acid molecules can act together. We concluded that the inhibitory effect of acetic acid is not solely attributable to acidic pH but also to undissociated acid molecules. This finding has implication for the use of acetic acid as an antimicrobial against Salmonella on food products, such as chicken meat, which can buffer its pH.
Gallic acid has been suggested as a potential antimicrobial for the control of Campylobacter but its effectiveness is poorly studied. The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) and minimum bactericidal concentration (MBC) of gallic acid against Campylobacter jejuni (n = 8) and Campylobacter coli (n = 4) strains was determined. Gallic acid inhibited the growth of five C. jejuni strains and three C. coli strains (MIC: 15.63-250 μg mL(-1)). Gallic acid was only bactericidal to two C. coli strains (MBC: 125 and 62.5 μg mL(-1)). The mechanism of the bactericidal effect against these two strains (and selected non-susceptible controls) was investigated by determining decimal reduction times and by monitoring the loss of cellular content and calcium ions, and changes in cell morphology. Gallic acid did not result in a loss of cellular content or morphological changes in the susceptible strains as compared to the controls. Gallic acid resulted in a loss of calcium ions (0.58-1.53 μg mL(-1) and 0.54-1.17 μg mL(-1), respectively, over a 180 min period) from the susceptible strains but not the controls. Gallic acid is unlikely to be an effective antimicrobial against Campylobacter in a practical sense unless further interventions to ensure an effective bactericidal mode of action against all strains are developed.
Nepenthes pitcher plants produce modified jug-shaped leaves to attract, trap and digest insect prey. We used 16S rDNA cloning and sequencing to compare bacterial communities in pitcher fluids of each of three species, namely Nepenthes ampullaria, Nepenthes gracilis and Nepenthes mirabilis, growing in the wild. In contrast to previous greenhouse-based studies, we found that both opened and unopened pitchers harbored bacterial DNA. Pitchers of N. mirabilis had higher bacterial diversity as compared to other Nepenthes species. The composition of the bacterial communities could be different between pitcher types for N. mirabilis (ANOSIM: R = 0.340, p < 0.05). Other Nepenthes species had similar bacterial composition between pitcher types. SIMPER showed that more than 50 % of the bacterial taxa identified from the open pitchers of N. mirabilis were not found in other groups. Our study suggests that bacteria in N. mirabilis are divided into native and nonnative groups.
Urinary tract infections (UTI) caused by uropathogenic Escherichia coli are one of the most common forms of human disease. In this study, the effect of the presence of newly acquired antibiotic resistance genes on biofilm formation of UTI-associated E. coli strains was examined. Two clinical UTI-associated E. coli strains (SMC18 and SMC20) carrying different combinations of virulence genes were transformed with pGEM-T, pGEM-T::KmΔAmp, or pGEM-T::Km to construct ampicillin-resistant (Km(S)Amp(R)), kanamycin-resistant (Km(R)Amp(S)), or ampicillin- and kanamycin-resistant (Km(R)Amp(R)) strains. Transformed and wild-type strains were characterized for biofilm formation, bacterial surface hydrophobicity, auto-aggregation, morphology, and attachment to abiotic surfaces. Transformation with a plasmid carrying an ampicillin resistance gene alone decreased (p < 0.05) biofilm formation by SMC18 (8 virulence marker genes) but increased (p < 0.05) biofilm formation by SMC20 (5 virulence marker genes). On the other hand, transformation with a plasmid carrying a kanamycin resistance gene alone or both ampicillin and kanamycin resistance genes resulted in a decrease (p < 0.05) in biofilm formation by SMC18 but did not affect (p > 0.05) the biofilm formation by SMC20. Our results suggest that transformation of UTI-associated E. coli with plasmids carrying different antibiotic resistance gene(s) had a significant impact on biofilm formation and that these effects were both strain dependent and varied between different antibiotics.
This study aimed to establish, as a proof of concept, whether bacterial cellulose (BC)-derived plant cell wall models could be used to investigate foodborne bacterial pathogen attachment. Attachment of two strains each of Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes to four BC-derived plant cell wall models (namely, BC, BC-pectin [BCP], BC-xyloglucan [BCX], and BC-pectin-xyloglucan [BCPX]) was investigated. Chemical analysis indicated that the BCPX composite (31% cellulose, 45.6% pectin, 23.4% xyloglucan) had a composition typical of plant cell walls. The Salmonella strains attached in significantly (p<0.05) higher numbers (~6 log colony-forming units [CFU]/cm(2)) to the composites than the Listeria strains (~5 log CFU/cm(2)). Strain-specific differences were also apparent with one Salmonella strain, for example, attaching in significantly (p<0.05) higher numbers to the BCX composite than to the other composites. This study highlights the potential usefulness of these composites to understand attachment of foodborne bacteria to fresh produce.
Tea can inhibit the attachment of Streptococcus mutans to surfaces and subsequent biofilm formation. Five commercial tea extracts were screened for their ability to inhibit attachment and biofilm formation by two strains of S. mutans on glass and hydroxyapatite surfaces. The mechanisms of these effects were investigated using scanning electron microscopy (SEM) and phytochemical screening. The results indicated that extracts of oolong tea most effectively inhibited attachment and extracts of pu-erh tea most effectively inhibited biofilm formation. SEM images showed that the S. mutans cells treated with extracts of oolong tea, or grown in medium containing extracts of pu-erh tea, were coated with tea components and were larger with more rounded shapes. The coatings on the cells consisted of flavonoids, tannins and indolic compounds. The ratio of tannins to simple phenolics in each of the coating samples was ∼3:1. This study suggests potential mechanisms by which tea components may inhibit the attachment and subsequent biofilm formation of S. mutans on tooth surfaces, such as modification of cell surface properties and blocking of the activity of proteins and the structures used by the bacteria to interact with surfaces.
Minimally processed fresh produce has been implicated as a major source of foodborne microbial pathogens globally. These pathogens must attach to the produce in order to be transmitted. Cut surfaces of produce that expose cell walls are particularly vulnerable. Little is known about the roles that different structural components (cellulose, pectin, and xyloglucan) of plant cell walls play in the attachment of foodborne bacterial pathogens. Using bacterial cellulose-derived plant cell wall models, we showed that the presence of pectin alone or xyloglucan alone affected the attachment of three Salmonella enterica strains (Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Enteritidis ATCC 13076, Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica serovar Typhimurium ATCC 14028, and Salmonella enterica subsp. indica M4) and Listeria monocytogenes ATCC 7644. In addition, we showed that this effect was modulated in the presence of both polysaccharides. Assays using pairwise combinations of S. Typhimurium ATCC 14028 and L. monocytogenes ATCC 7644 showed that bacterial attachment to all plant cell wall models was dependent on the characteristics of the individual bacterial strains and was not directly proportional to the initial concentration of the bacterial inoculum. This work showed that bacterial attachment was not determined directly by the plant cell wall model or bacterial physicochemical properties. We suggest that attachment of the Salmonella strains may be influenced by the effects of these polysaccharides on physical and structural properties of the plant cell wall model. Our findings improve the understanding of how Salmonella enterica and Listeria monocytogenes attach to plant cell walls, which may facilitate the development of better ways to prevent the attachment of these pathogens to such surfaces.
This study investigated the removal of bacterial surface structures, particularly flagella, using sonication, and examined its effect on the attachment of Salmonella Typhimurium ATCC 14028 cells to plant cell walls. S. Typhimurium ATCC 14028 cells were subjected to sonication at 20 kHz to remove surface structures without affecting cell viability. Effective removal of flagella was determined by staining flagella of sonicated cells with Ryu's stain and enumerating the flagella remaining by direct microscopic counting. The attachment of sonicated S. Typhimurium cells to bacterial cellulose-based plant cell wall models and cut plant material (potato, apple, lettuce) was then evaluated. Varying concentrations of pectin and/or xyloglucan were used to produce a range of bacterial cellulose-based plant cell wall models. As compared to the non-sonicated controls, sonicated S. Typhimurium cells attached in significantly lower numbers (between 0.5 and 1.0 log CFU/cm(2)) to all surfaces except to the bacterial cellulose-only composite without pectin and xyloglucan. Since attachment of S. Typhimurium to the bacterial cellulose-only composite was not affected by sonication, this suggests that bacterial surface structures, particularly flagella, could have specific interactions with pectin and xyloglucan. This study indicates that sonication may have potential applications for reducing Salmonella attachment during the processing of fresh produce.
The effect of physical shearing on the attachment of six Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains and six Burkholderia cepacia strains to glass, stainless steel, polystyrene and Teflon® was determined. A significant (p < 0.05) decrease in hydrophobicity was apparent for all P. aeruginosa strains (17-36%) and B. cepacia, MS 5 (20%) after shearing. A significant (p < 0.05) decrease in attachment of some P. aeruginosa (0.2-0.5 log CFU/cm2) and B. cepacia (0.2-0.4 log CFU/cm2) strains to some surface types was apparent after shearing. Significant (p < 0.05) correlation was observed for both numbers of flagellated cells and hydrophobicity against attachment to glass, stainless steel and polystyrene for P. aeruginosa while only hydrophobicity showed significant correlation against the same surfaces for B. cepacia. Scanning electron microscopy and protein analysis showed that shearing removed surface proteins from the cells and may have led to the observed changes in hydrophobicity and attachment to abiotic surfaces.
Staphylococci are Gram-positive bacteria that are ubiquitous in the environment and able to form biofilms on a range of surfaces. They have been associated with a range of human health issues such as medical device-related infection, localized skin infection, or direct infection caused by toxin production. The extracellular material produced by these bacteria resists antibiotics and host defence mechanism which complicates the treatment process. The commonly reported Staphylococcus species are Staphylococcus aureus and S. epidermidis as they inhabit human bodies. However, the emergence of other staphylococci, such as S. haemolyticus, S. lugdunensis, S. saprophyticus, S. capitis, S. saccharolyticus, S. warneri, S. cohnii, and S. hominis, is also of concern and they have been associated with biofilm formation. This review critically assesses recent cases on the biofilm formation by S. aureus, S. epidermidis, and other staphylococci reported in health-related environments. The control of biofilm formation by staphylococci using natural compounds is specifically discussed as they represent potential anti-biofilm agents which may reduce the burden of antibiotic resistance.
Campylobacter jejuni is one of the most frequent causes of bacterial gastrointestinal food-borne infection worldwide. This species is part of the normal flora of the gastrointestinal tracts of animals used for food production, including poultry, which is regarded as the primary source of human Campylobacter infections. The survival and persistence of C. jejuni in food processing environments, especially in poultry processing plants, represent significant risk factors that contribute to the spread of this pathogen through the food chain. Compared to other food-borne pathogens, C. jejuni is more fastidious in its growth requirements and is very susceptible to various environmental stressors. Biofilm formation is suggested to play a significant role in the survival of C. jejuni in the food production and processing environment. The aims of this minireview were (i) to examine the evidence that C. jejuni forms biofilms and (ii) to establish the extent to which reported and largely laboratory-based studies of C. jejuni biofilms provide evidence for biofilm formation by this pathogen in food processing environments. Overall existing studies do not provide strong evidence for biofilm formation (as usually defined) by most C. jejuni strains in food-related environments under the combined conditions of atmosphere, temperature, and shear that they are likely to encounter. Simple attachment to and survival on surfaces and in existing biofilms of other species are far more likely to contribute to C. jejuni survival in food-related environments based on our current understanding of this species.
Oil palm empty fruit bunch (EFB) is abundantly available in Malaysia and it is a potential source of xylose for the production of high-value added products. This study aimed to optimize the hydrolysis of EFB using dilute sulfuric acid (H2SO4) and phosphoric acid (H3PO4) via response surface methodology for maximum xylose recovery. Hydrolysis was carried out in an autoclave. An optimum xylose yield of 91.2 % was obtained at 116 °C using 2.0 % (v/v) H2SO4, a solid/liquid ratio of 1:5 and a hydrolysis time of 20 min. A lower optimum xylose yield of 24.0 % was observed for dilute H3PO4 hydrolysis at 116 °C using 2.4 % (v/v) H3PO4, a solid/liquid ratio of 1:5 and a hydrolysis time of 20 min. The optimized hydrolysis conditions suggested that EFB hydrolysis by H2SO4 resulted in a higher xylose yield at a lower acid concentration as compared to H3PO4.
Nepenthes pitcher plants are colonized by a variety of specialized arthropods. As Aedes mosquitoes are container breeders, Nepenthes pitchers are a potential candidate oviposition site for vector species, such as Aedes aegypti (L.) and Aedes albopictus (Skuse). However, Aedes spp. are not commonly encountered in Nepenthes pitchers, and the environment inside the pitchers of some species is lethal to them. One exception is Nepenthes ampullaria Jack, whose pitchers are known to be colonized by Ae. albopictus on very rare occasions. Given that Ae. albopictus larvae can survive in N. ampullaria pitcher fluids, we sought to determine why pitcher colonization is rare, testing the hypothesis that gravid Aedes mosquitoes are deterred from ovipositing into container habitats that have similar characteristics to N. ampullaria pitchers. Using plastic ovitraps of different sizes, colors, and with different types of fluids (based on the characteristics of N. ampullaria pitchers), we compared oviposition rates by Aedes mosquitoes in urban and rural areas within the geographical range of N. ampullaria near Kuala Lumpur, Malaysia. Ovitraps that were black and large (>250-ml capacity) accumulated significantly more eggs than ovitraps that were smaller, or green in color. In terms of size and color, small, green ovitraps are analogous to N. ampullaria pitchers, indicating that these pitchers are not particularly attractive to gravid Ae. albopictus. Although Aedes spp. are capable of colonizing N. ampullaria pitchers, the pitchers are relatively unattractive to gravid females and do not represent a significant habitat for larvae of dengue vectors at present.
Shiga toxigenic Escherichia coli (STEC) O157 and several other serogroups of non-O157 STEC are causative agents of severe disease in humans world-wide. The present study was conducted to characterize STEC O157 and non-O157 serogroups O26, O103, O111, O121, O45, and O145 in ruminants in Malaysia. A total of 136 ruminant feces samples were collected from 6 different farms in Peninsular Malaysia. Immunomagnetic beads were used to isolate E. coli O157 and non-O157 serogroups, while PCR was used for the detection and subtyping of STEC isolates. STEC O157:H7 was isolated from 6 (4%) feces samples and all isolates obtained carried stx 2c, eaeA-γ1, and ehxA. Non-O157 STEC was isolated from 2 (1.5%) feces samples with one isolate carrying stx 1a, stx 2a, stx 2c, and ehxA and the other carrying stx 1a alone. The presence of STEC O157 and non-O157 in a small percentage of ruminants in this study together with their virulence characteristics suggests that they may have limited impact on public health.
Campylobacter jejuni is a frequent cause of human bacterial gastrointestinal foodborne disease worldwide. Antibiotic resistance in this species is of public health concern. The draft genome sequences of three multiantibiotic-resistant C. jejuni strains (2865, 2868, and 2871) isolated from poultry at retail outlets in Malaysia are presented here.
Enterococci rank as one of the leading causes of nosocomial infections, such as urinary tract infections, surgical wound infections, and endocarditis, in humans. These infections can be hard to treat because of the rising incidence of antibiotic resistance. Enterococci inhabiting nonhuman reservoirs appear to play a critical role in the acquisition and dissemination of antibiotic resistance determinants. The spread of antibiotic resistance has become a major concern in both human and veterinary medicine, especially in Southeast Asia, where many developing countries have poor legislation and regulations to control the supply and excessive use of antimicrobials. This review addresses the occurrence of antibiotic-resistant enterococci in Association of Southeast Asian Nations countries and proposes infection control measures that should be applied to limit the spread of multiple-drug-resistant enterococci.