Phylogenetic Profiles of In-House Microflora in Drains at a Food Production Facility: Comparison and Biocontrol Implications of Listeria-Positive and -Negative Bacterial Populations

Edward Fox, Katie Solomon, John Moore, Patrick Wall, Seamus Fanning

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

29 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

Listeria species experience complex interactions with other microorganisms, which may promote growth and colonization of the organism in local environments or negatively affect them. This study investigated the microbial community at a food production facility, examining interactions between Listeria and the associated microbiome. Listeria species can be transferred between zones in the production environment by individuals or equipment, and drains may act as a reservoir for the organism, reflecting the microbial flora potentially in the production environment. Drains that were colonized by Listeria species and those determined to be free of Listeria were examined. In each case, 16S rRNA gene analysis was performed using the PhyloChip platform. Some general similarities in bacterial population structure were observed when Listeria-negative and -positive drain communities were compared, with some distinct differences also noted. These included increased populations of the genera Prevotella and Janthinobacterium associated with the absence of Listeria species, whereas Enterococcus and Rhodococcus were in higher abundance in drains colonized by Listeria species. Based on these results, a selection of bacterial species were grown in coculture biofilm with a Listeria monocytogenes strain identified as having colonized a drain at the facility. Mixed-species biofilm experiments showed that Janthinobacterium inhibited attachment and subsequent biofilm formation of L. monocytogenes; however, Enterococcus gallinarum significantly increased it. The results of this study suggest the microbial community in food processing facilities can impact the colonization of Listeria species and that influencing the microbiome in favor of antilisterial species may reduce the colonization of Listeria species and limit the likelihood of product/process contamination.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)3369-3374
JournalApplied and Environmental Microbiology
Volume80
Issue number11
Early online date8 May 2014
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Jun 2014

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