Autoclaved whole milk, low-fat milk, protein-fortified skim milk and regular skim milk were inoculated to contain ca. 105 to 106 Borrelia burgdorferi strains 35210, 35211, or EBNI/ml and stored at 34°C for 16 d. Similarly inoculated skim milk also was held at 5°C for 46 d. Numbers of survivors were estimated by the Most Probable Number (MPN) technique. In all instances, numbers of B. burgdorferi decreased over the storage period. At 34°C, no strain of B. burgdorferi was detected after day 12. The mean D-values, at 34°C, for strains 35210, 35211, and EBNI were 2.2, 2.4, and 2.2 d, respectively. The mean D-values, at 34°C, for all strains in whole milk, low-fat milk, protein-fortified skim milk, and regular skim milk were 2.4, 2.3, 1.9, and 2.4 d, respectively. At 5°C, spirochete numbers in regular skim milk decreased, but all three strains remained at a detectable level for 46 d. The mean D-values, at 5°C, for strains 35210, 35211, and EBNI were 12, 15, and 12 d, respectively.

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