Inhibition of Listeria monocytogenes by Enterococcus mundtii isolated from soil
Bigwood, T. | Hudson, J.A. | Cooney, J. | McIntyre, L. | Billington, C. | Heinemann, J.A. | Wall, F.
Two bacterial isolates with inhibitory activity against Listeria monocytogenes and Enterococcus faecalis were obtained from soil. Genotypic and phenotypic characterization identified them as Enterococcus mundtii, a species whose ability to compete with L. monocytogenes is relatively unexplored compared to other members of the genus. The thermal stability of the inhibitory factor and its sensitivity to proteolytic enzymes indicate that it is most likely a bacteriocin. Both isolates grew at comparable rates to L. monocytogenes at 5 °C and 10 °C in vitro. One isolate killed L. monocytogenes when it reached concentrations of 10⁶–10⁸ CFU ml⁻¹. Minimum inocula of 10⁶ and 10⁵ CFU ml⁻¹ of E. mundtii were required to reduce and maintain L. monocytogenes concentrations beneath the level of detection at 5 °C and 10 °C, respectively. In situ experiments at 5 °C showed that E. mundtii inhibited the growth of L. monocytogenes on vacuum-packed cold smoked salmon during its four week shelf life. E. mundtii could, therefore, control the growth of L. monocytogenes at low temperatures, indicating a potential application in controlling this pathogen in chilled foods. To control growth of Listeria, the concentration of E. mundtii needs to be high, but it is possible that a purified bacteriocin could be used to achieve the same effect.Show more [+] Less [-]