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Subsequently, 20 mL of the diluted cultures were introduced into 50 mL falcon tubes containing a sterile stainless steel coupon. Two replicate coupons for each strain were evaluated, and coupons in un-inoculated medium were used as negative controls. Data are presented as the average of three independent trials. Following incubation, the coupons were carefully removed from the growth medium using sterile forceps, gently tapped against the side of the falcon tube to remove excess liquid, and rinsed three times with 25 mL of sterile filtered water to remove loosely-adherent bacteria.

Coupons were air-dried for 2 min, and stained with 0.

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To enumerate the planktonic cells after each period, 1 mL of the cell suspension was pipetted from the falcon tubes, serially diluted with 10 mM phosphate buffered saline PBS, pH 7. To recover the attached bacterial cells, the coupons were rinsed three times with sterile water, immersed into 25 mL of sterile PBS, and sonicated at 20 kHz for 10 min. Bacteria were enumerated and the results were expressed as the average of the data from three independent assays. Based on the above assays, three strong biofilm formers strains O, O and O91 were further observed by scanning electron microscopy SEM , as described previously [ 23 ].

Coupons with biofilms were rinsed three times as described above, air-dried, and then fixed in 2.

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Results from biofilm formation were compiled from the three independent experiments. Based on the OD nm produced by biofilms, strains were classified as no biofilm, weak, moderate, or strong biofilm producers, as previously described [ 24 ]. The cutoff optical density value ODc of 0.

Biofilm formation of 10 STEC strains on a stainless steel surface. The arrow shows that some strains formed a dense pellicle at the air-liquid interface. The vertical axis represents the average of OD values, determined at nm. Horizontal lines represent the cutoff values between weak, moderate, and strong biofilm producers.

The number of biofilm cells for these five isolates ranged from 2. However, the populations of these five isolates did increase from 1.

However, the biofilms decreased with increasing incubation time Figure 3 , Figure 4 , and Figure 5. At 72 h, although there were still some cells attached to the surface, they remained in monolayers and were sparsely distributed on the surface. Biofilms are recognized as one of the major strategies that bacteria utilize to support survival under adverse environmental conditions [ 25 ]. Bacteria can form biofilms on a wide variety of surfaces and at air-liquid or liquid-solid interfaces [ 26 , 27 ].

Stainless steel surfaces are widely used in food processing plants [ 28 , 29 ]. However, previous studies have shown that the adhesion of Salmonella to stainless steel was significantly higher than to other materials such as rubber and polyurethane surfaces in processing plants [ 30 ]. Stainless steel appears smooth to the unaided eye, but it is actually irregular and can harbor bacterial cells when viewed under a microscope [ 29 ].

In this study, the capacity of the 10 STEC isolates varied in their ability to form biofilms on stainless steel Figure 1 A. Similar strain-dependent results were obtained from a study that compared the biofilm-forming ability on polystyrene of 18 OH7 strains and 33 non-O strains belonging to serogroups O26, O, O, and O [ 31 ]. Another feature of biofilm formation in the current study was that the isolates capable of forming biofilms formed a dense pellicle at the air-liquid interface on stainless steel white arrows in Figure 1 A.

It is known that STEC biofilm formation is influenced by a variety of factors, including the characteristics of the strains, nutrient availability, temperature, and other environmental conditions [ 9 ]. Under our experimental conditions, the combination of oxygen and moisture available at the air-liquid interfaces may have played an important role in biofilm formation, which is an observation supported by others [ 20 ]. Second, the differences in the nutrient composition of media might be a contributing factor considering the fact that our previous study was conducted using LB broth [ 21 , 32 ], whereas M9 medium was used to grow the bacteria that formed biofilms in the current study.

Based on our previous studies [ 21 ], the biofilms of strains O, O, O, O45, and O increased on polystyrene with incubation time, so it was expected that the density of biofilm cells of these strains would also increase on stainless steel over time.


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Previous studies demonstrated a linear increase in E. However, some studies observed a reduction in cell density in biofilms after 48 h [ 33 ]. These findings suggest that the biofilm medium plays a major role in the biofilm phenotype. Under static conditions, a lack of nutrients and metabolic waste accumulation in M9 during incubation may contribute to a decrease in biofilm surface populations [ 5 ]. Moreover, daughter cells of attached bacteria are often released from the surface upon completion of cell division [ 34 ].

These released cells may remain in a planktonic state, which leads to a decrease in STEC biofilm formation. Biofilms formed on stainless steel dislodge at a faster rate than those on highly hydrophobic acrylic surfaces [ 35 ].

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Compared to polystyrene, stainless steel surfaces are hydrophilic and negatively charged at a neutral pH. Since bacteria are also typically negatively charged, this surface may be less conducive to microbial colonization.


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  6. In weakly charged liquids, the repulsive electrostatic forces are significant [ 32 , 36 ]. As previously reported, temperature influences the biofilm-forming capacity of isolates [ 9 ]. It has been shown that the cell surface hydrophobicity and fimbriae production of E. Adrian et al. Furthermore, Walker et al.

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    This biofilm-forming capacity of O may contribute to its persistence in the processing environment and influence its high relative incidence [ 46 ]. The findings in this study indicated that STEC isolates form biofilms in a strain-dependent manner and the process was affected by various environmental factors such as temperature, atmosphere, and incubation time.

    Further studies are underway to assess the ability of these strains to form biofilms in meat processing environments and to identify methods to remove and prevent biofilm development as a means of reducing the risk of food contamination. We acknowledge the technical assistance of R. Simply the BEST! Toggle navigation. Harbor Pines Golf Club. Welcome to our full-service golf course, where guests can enjoy golf memberships, superb amenities, outstanding service and 18 holes of magnificent golf. Read More. Check out our Current Golf Specials. South Jersey's Favorite Place to Play. Parking is always free.

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