The present study was conducted to evaluate the effect of chlorine-induced oxidative stress on biofilm formation by various Salmonella strains on polystyrene and stainless steel (SS) surfaces at three temperatures (30, 25 [room temperature], and 4°C) in tryptic soy broth (TSB) and 1/10 TSB. Fifteen Salmonella strains (six serotypes) were exposed to a sublethal chlorine concentration (150 ppm of total chlorine) in TSB for 2 h at the predetermined temperatures. The biofilm-forming ability of the Salmonella strains was determined in 96-well polystyrene microtiter plates by using a crystal violet staining method and on SS coupons in 24-well tissue culture plates. All tested strains of Salmonella produced biofilms on both surfaces tested at room temperature and at 30°C. Of the 15 strains tested, none (chlorine stressed and nonstressed) formed biofilm at 4°C. At 30°C, Salmonella Heidelberg (ID 72), Salmonella Newport (ID 107), and Salmonella Typhimurium (ATCC 14028) formed more biofilm than did their respective nonstressed controls on polystyrene (P ≤ 0.05). At room temperature, only stressed Salmonella Reading (ID 115) in 1/10 TSB had significantly more biofilm formation than did the nonstressed control cells (P ≤ 0.05). Salmonella strains formed more biofilm in nutrient-deficient medium (1/10 TSB) than in full-strength TSB. At 25°C, chlorine-stressed Salmonella Heidelberg (ATCC 8326) and Salmonella Enteritidis (ATCC 4931) formed stronger biofilms on SS coupons (P ≤ 0.05) than did the nonstressed cells. These findings suggest that certain strains of Salmonella can produce significantly stronger biofilms on plastic and SS upon exposure to sublethal chlorine.

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