Effect of Enterocins A and B on the Viability and Virulence Gene Expression of Listeria monocytogenes in Sliced Dry-Cured Ham
Dry-cured ham can be contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes during its industrial processing. The use of bacteriocins could ensure the safety of such meat products, but their effect on pathogen physiology is unknown. Therefore, the impact of enterocins A and B on the L. monocytogenes population, and the expression patterns of five genes (inlA, inlB, clpC, fbpA and prfA) related to adhesion/invasion and virulence regulation have been monitored in sliced dry-cured ham during 30 d of storage in
... efrigeration (4 °C) and temperature-abuse conditions (20 °C). L. monocytogenes strains S2 (serotype 1/2a) and S7-2 (serotype 4b) counts were reduced by 0.5 and 0.6 log units immediately after the application of enterocins A and B, a decrease lower than previously reported. Differences in gene expression were found between the two strains. For strain S2, expression tended to increase for almost all genes up to day seven of storage, whereas this increase was observed immediately after application for strain S7-2; however, overall gene expression was repressed from day one onwards, mainly under temperature-abuse conditions. L. monocytogenes strains investigated in the present work exhibited a mild sensitivity to enterocins A and B in sliced dry-cured ham. Bacteriocins caused changes in the expression patterns of virulence genes associated with adhesion and invasion, although the potential virulence of surviving cells was not enhanced.