Author(s): Burnett SL, Beuchat LR
Abstract Share this page
Abstract The influence of treating Escherichia coli O157:H7 cells labeled with an enhanced green fluorescent protein (EGFP) plasmid with 20 microg/ml active chlorine, 100 mg/ml hydrogen peroxide, and 80 mg/ml acetic acid on fluorescence intensity was determined. In addition, fluorescent staining methods to differentiate viable and dead E. coli O157:H7 cells on the cuticle of Red Delicious cv. apples following treatment with water or 200 microg/ml active chlorine were evaluated. Suspensions of E. coli O157:H7 EGFP+ cells were exposed to chemical treatment solutions for 0, 30, 60, 120, or 300 s before populations (log10 cfu/ml) were determined by surface plating, and fluorescence intensities of suspensions and individual cells were measured using spectrofluorometry and confocal scanning laser microscopy (CSLM), respectively. The relative fluorescence intensity of suspensions and individual cells changed upon exposure to various treatments. Results indicate that the use of EGFP to tag E. coli O157:H7 may not be appropriate for investigations seeking to microscopically differentiate viable and dead cells on produce following surface treatment with sanitizers. SYTOX Orange and SYTOX Green nucleic acid stains fluorescently labeled dead E. coli O157:H7 cells attached to apple cuticles more intensely than did propidium iodide. A cross-signal occurred between CSLM photomultipliers when examining tissues treated with SYTOX Orange to detect dead cells and antibody labeled with Alexa Fluor 488 to detect total (dead and viable) cells. Because of the possibility of cross-signal resulting in an overestimation of the number of dead cells on apples and, perhaps, other produce treated with these stains, SYTOX Green is preferred to detect dead cells and antibody labeled with Alexa Fluor 594 is preferred to detect the total number of cells on apple surfaces following treatment with sanitizers. The performance of SYTOX Green in combination with Alexa Fluor 594 to detect dead and total cells of E. coli O157:H7 on other produce remains to be determined.
This article was published in Int J Food Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Veterinary Science & Technology