Author(s): Lianou A, Koutsoumanis KP
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Abstract Differences in phenotypic responses among strains of the same microbial species constitute an important source of variability in microbiological studies, and as such they need to be assessed, characterized and taken into account. This review provides a compilation of available research data on the strain variability of four basic behavioral aspects of foodborne bacterial pathogens including: (i) virulence; (ii) growth; (iii) inactivation; and (iv) biofilm formation. A particular emphasis is placed on the foodborne pathogens Listeria monocytogenes and Salmonella enterica. The implications of strain variability for food safety challenge studies and microbial risk assessment are discussed also. The information provided indicates that the variability among strains of foodborne bacterial pathogens with respect to their behavior can be significant and should not be overlooked. However, in order for the mechanisms underlying the observed strain variability to be elucidated and understood, phenotypic variability data, such as those reviewed here, should be evaluated in conjunction with corresponding findings of studies assessing the molecular/physiological basis of this variability. © 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.
This article was published in Int J Food Microbiol
and referenced in Advances in Dairy Research