Detection of thermal sublethal injury in escherichia coli via the selective medium plating technique: Mechanisms and improvements
Resumen: In food preservation, the synergistic combination of different technologies aims to maximize the total lethality of the process and minimize the intensity of each hurdle. This is especially the case when at least one of the treatments can cause sublethal (reparable) injury in a great proportion of the population, so that sublethally injured cells can end up being entirely inactivated by the other hurdle(s). The selective medium plating technique (SMPT) is extensively used to enumerate bacterial sublethal injury after inimical treatments, being sodium chloride added to the recovery medium to detect damaged bacterial envelopes. However, little work has been done to explain the reasons for the inability of sublethally injured cells to outgrow in selective agar media, whereas they are able to grow in non-selective agar. In the present paper, the performance of SMPT on Escherichia coli cells after heat treatments is explored by applying different selective agents in the recovery media, using mutants lacking factors involved in osmoregulation, and also by examining the integrity of the cytoplasmic membrane. In view of the results, the possibility of a specific toxic effect of Na+ as the main mechanism under SMPT was discarded, since the same level of sublethal injury was detected using KCl instead of NaCl. The synthesis of the osmoprotectant trehalose determined the maximum osmotolerance of intact cells to the selective agents, but was not crucial in the quantification of sublethal injury. Moreover, for the first time, the extent of sublethal injury detected via SMPT was directly correlated with the physical loss of integrity of the cell membrane in 99.999% of the initial population. This was achieved through statistical analysis of flow cytometry data using propidium iodide-exclusion technique when that dye was added before thermal treatments. The present work confirms the adequacy of SMPT as a tool for detecting the occurrence and quantity of sublethally injured cells after thermal treatments and thus, for efficiently designing the combination of heat with other preservation techniques. We also propose the study of statistical analysis from flow cytometry data for a more rapid quantification of bacterial sublethal injury in a broad detection range.
Idioma: Inglés
DOI: 10.3389/fmicb.2016.01376
Año: 2016
Publicado en: FRONTIERS IN MICROBIOLOGY 7 (2016), 1376 [12 pp.]
ISSN: 1664-302X

Factor impacto JCR: 4.076 (2016)
Categ. JCR: MICROBIOLOGY rank: 25 / 124 = 0.202 (2016) - Q1 - T1
Factor impacto SCIMAGO: 1.758 - Microbiology (medical) (Q1) - Microbiology (Q1)

Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MINECO/AGL2012-32165
Financiación: info:eu-repo/grantAgreement/ES/MINECO/AGL2015-69565-P
Tipo y forma: Article (Published version)
Área (Departamento): Área Tecnología de Alimentos (Dpto. Produc.Animal Cienc.Ali.)

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