Salmonella enterica is a prominent foodborne pathogen, including diverse serotypes that are prolific biofilm formers. Its ability to form biofilm can be affected by multiple environmental factors. In this study, the effect of salinity on biofilm formation by S. enterica was evaluated by using two recently isolated strains of Salmonella serotypes Enteritidis and Newport. Although supplementing the growth medium with a low concentration (0.5 to 2%) of sodium chloride (NaCl) slightly enhanced biofilm formation for the strain S. enterica serovar Enteritidis 110, it sharply reduced or abolished biofilm formation by the strain S. enterica serovar Newport 193. This differential effect of salinity on S. enterica strains of different serotypes was poorly correlated with inhibition of planktonic growth but strongly correlated with cell motility. Examining genes known to affect biofilm formation showed that the expression of adrA, csgD, and fliC, which encode proteins required for surface adhesion and cell motility, was significantly downregulated with salinity increase in Salmonella Newport 193 but not in Salmonella Enteritidis 110. Therefore, it is plausible that the differential effect of salinity on biofilm formation by Salmonella Enteritidis 110 and Salmonella Newport 193 resulted from the differential regulation to genes required for cell adherence and motility.

  • Salinity differentially affects biofilm formation in Salmonella Enteritidis and Newport.

  • NaCl at 0.5% abolishes biofilm formation of Salmonella Newport but not Salmonella Enteritidis.

  • The effect of NaCl on biofilm formation is correlated with effects on cell motility.

  • Expression of adhesion-related genes is correlated with the effect on biofilm formation.

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