Author(s): Bower CK, McGuire J, Daeschel MA
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Abstract Nisin is an antimicrobial peptide proven to be an effective inhibitor of gram-positive bacteria. It is known that nisin can adsorb to various surfaces and still retain much of its original activity (M. A. Daeschel, J. McGuire, and H. Al-Makhlafi, J. Food Prot. 55:731-735, 1992). In this study, nisin films were allowed to form on silanized silica surfaces and then exposed to medium containing Listeria monocytogenes. Representative areas were selected from each surface, and images of resident listeriae were obtained at 4-h intervals for 12 h. During this time, cells on surfaces that had been in contact with a high concentration of nisin (1.0 mg/ml) exhibited no signs of growth and many displayed evidence of cellular deterioration. Surfaces treated with a lower concentration of nisin (0.1 mg/ml) had a smaller degree of inhibition. In contrast, both protein-free surfaces and those with films of heat-inactivated nisin allowed attached L. monocytogenes cells to grow and reproduce. These studies, when repeated with a nisin-resistant strain of L. monocytogenes, resulted in no inhibition of growth on surfaces with adsorbed nisin. The bactericidal effect of adsorbed nisin was also studied with iodonitrotetrazolium violet, a tetrazolium salt, which is reduced to a red formazan crystal by viable bacteria. Crystals were visible in 95\% of the cells adhered to control surfaces but were present in less than 20\% of the cells on surfaces with adsorbed nisin. These data indicate that adsorbed nisin may have potential for use as a food grade antimicrobial agent on food contact surfaces.
This article was published in Appl Environ Microbiol
and referenced in Journal of Clinical & Experimental Pharmacology