ABSTRACT

Beef-based medium beef extract (BE) and standard medium tryptic soy broth (TSB) are used as minimally processed food models to study the effects on Escherichia coli O157:H7 biofilm formation. The effects of temperatures (4, 10, 25, 37, and 42°C), pH values (4.5, 5.0, 5.5, 6.0, 7.0, and 8.0), strain characteristics, and the expression of functional genes on the biofilm formation ability of the bacteria were determined. The three tested E. coli O157:H7 strains produced biofilm in both media. Biofilm formation was greater in BE than in TSB (P < 0.05). The strongest biofilm formation capacity of E. coli O157:H7 was achieved at 37°C and pH 7.0. Biofilm formation was significantly inhibited for three tested strains incubated at 4°C. Biofilm formation ability was correlated with swarming in TSB. Biofilm formation was significantly and positively correlated with autoaggregation or hydrophobicity in BE (P < 0.05). At the initial stage of biofilm formation, the expressions of luxS, sdiA, csgD, csgA, flhC, adrA, and rpoS were significantly higher in BE than in TSB (P < 0.05). At the maturity stage, the expressions of luxS, sdiA, csgD, csgA, flhC, csrA, adrB, adrA, iraM, and rpoS were significantly higher in TSB than in BE (P < 0.05). Such information could help in the development of effective biofilm removal technologies to deal with risks of E. coli O157:H7 biofilms in the beef industry.

HIGHLIGHTS
  • Beef extract promoted the biofilm formation of E. coli O157:H7.

  • Strongest biofilm formation of E. coli O157:H7 was achieved at 37°C and pH 7.0.

  • Biofilm formation positively correlated with autoaggregation or hydrophobicity in BE.

  • Gene expression was different when incubated in BE and TSB until both 1 and 3 days.

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