Bacterial pathogens transmitted by the fecal-oral route endure several stresses during survival/growth in host and non-host environments. For foodborne pathogens, understanding the range of phenotypic responses to stressors and the environmental factors that impact survival can provide insights for the development of control measures. For example, the gastrointestinal system presents acidic, osmotic, and cell-envelope stresses and low oxygen levels, but Listeria monocytogenes can withstand these stresses, causing illnesses in humans. Survival/growth characteristics may differ among L. monocytogenes strains under these stressors due to their genetic diversities. Our knowledge of such phenotypic characteristics under bile and salt stresses are inadequate. In this dissertation, variation in growth characteristics was observed among L. monocytogenes strains under bile and osmotic stresses with no evidence of cross-protection, but rather an antagonistic effect was observed with the formation of filaments when pre-exposed to 1% bile and treated with 6% NaCl. This shows that variation in stress adaptability exists among L. monocytogenes strains with the ability to form filaments under these conditions. Similarly, Salmonella survival in soil is dependent on several factors, such as soil, amendment types, moisture, irrigation, and desiccation stress. In this study, the use of HTPP (heat-treated poultry pellets) was investigated as a soil amendment in the survival/growth of Salmonella in soil extracts mimicking runoff events, and in soil cultivated with spinach plants to assess its safety for use for an organic fertilizer. The presence of HTPP in soil increased S. Newport survival with a greater likelihood of its transfer to and survival on spinach plants. Increased microbial loads and rpoS mutant showed decreased growth/survival in soil extracts, however, rpoS was not important for survival in soil under the tested conditions showing possible lack of desiccation stress. These results show that HTPP provided nutrients to the Salmonella for increased growth and survival in soil extracts and soil, respectively, which show that the use of treated BSAAO to soils may still require appropriate mitigation to minimize Salmonella Newport contamination of leafy greens in the pre-harvest environment. Overall, the results in this study increased our understanding of L. monocytogenes and Salmonella phenotypic adaptation to stressful environments.
|Advisor:||Bergholz, Teresa M.|
|Commitee:||Sharma, Manan, Prüß, Birgit, McEvoy, John, Wilkinson, John|
|School:||North Dakota State University|
|Department:||Veterinary and Microbiological Sciences|
|School Location:||United States -- North Dakota|
|Source:||DAI-B 81/2(E), Dissertation Abstracts International|
|Subjects:||Microbiology, Food Science, Soil sciences|
|Keywords:||Filament formation, Food safety, rpoS, Salt and Bile stresses, Soil amendments, Viable but non culturable|
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