Cantaloupe and Se EcO157 and Lm

Ukuku and Fett studied the type and strength of attachment of multiple strains of Se, E. coli, and Lm, including outbreak- or food-associated strains, to the surface of cantaloupes [125]. The bacterial cell surface charge and hydrophobicity of each of the strains were determined and compared to the strength of the interaction, as measured by the number of cells retained on the cantaloupe surface after immersing whole melons in water. Attachment was measured both on melons spiked with individual strains and mixtures of strains. Se had the highest and most variable surface hydrophobicity, and the highest negative and positive surface charge; E. coli, EcO157, and Lm strains were similar in hydrophobicity, but Lm had a much higher negative surface charge compared to E. coli. Although more E.coli cells attached initially to the melon surface compared to Se and Lm, Se attached more strongly than either E. coli or Lm after storage at 4°C up to 7 days, regardless of whether strains were added individually or as mixtures [125]. The strength of attachment of each of the species was correlated significantly with the hydrophobicity and the negative and positive surface charge of the strains, indicating that all of these parameters were important in attachment.

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