S23 Prokaryotic Hibernators – Persisters in Foods – What is Really Going on?

Monday, August 1, 2016: 1:30 PM-3:00 PM
230 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Sponsored By:
Primary Contact: Keith Lampel
Organizers: Keith Lampel and Ben Tall
Convenors: Keith Lampel and Ben D. Tall
Old nomenclature would refer to bacterial pathogens in certain food environments and conditions as cells that are undergoing stress or may be injured cells. Current reference to these types of cells would include persisters or prokaryotic hibernators. Although much is not understood on their mechanism of survival in foods for prolonged periods of time, current research has started to shed some light on how these bacteria respond to these harsh environments and perhaps how they shut down their physiological systems. Of concern to food safety and public health is that these “physiologically dormant” pathogens may not be recovered during routine food analyses yet are capable of remaining pathogenic and still lead to disease. The elucidation of the genetic factors involved with the bacteria that allows them to remain a viable pathogen yet still lead to disease is critical and may also lead to the identification of important biochemical conditions, e.g. enrichment broths, which can restore growth capabilities of  the organism. This may facilitate the isolation of once difficult or unculturable bacteria so that a more accurate analysis can be determined. The actual contribution to foodborne outbreaks and illness of prokaryotic hibernators/persisters is unknown but may have a significant impact on food production and food safety. This symposium brings together speakers who will discuss how foodborne pathogens, including Salmonella, Listeria, and Cronobacter, adapt to unsupportive environments, such as powdered infant formula, and provide current research at the molecular/genetic level on the change in physiological state of the prokaryotic hibernators/persisters.


1:30 PM
Living in a Dry Environment Bacteria Style
Seamus Fanning, University College Dublin
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