S20 Viable But Non-culturable (VBNC) Bacteria: Not Your Typical Injured Cells

Monday, August 1, 2016: 3:30 PM-5:00 PM
231-232 (America's Center - St. Louis)
Sponsored By:
Primary Contact: Rachel Binet
Organizers: Rachel Binet and Laura Gage
Convenors: Rachel Binet and Laura Gage
Despite the many expectations, PCR-based technologies in food diagnostics have not replaced standard culture methods with isolates still being necessary for epidemiology and law enforcement. Many molecular methods available today require a cell density of at least 103 to 104 CFU/ml of the target pathogen. Consequently, the successful recovery and detection of foodborne pathogens continue to depend on the bacterial ability to grow and multiply while competing with the background microflora. In the food processing chain, foodborne pathogens are subjected to various unfavorable environmental conditions that can lead to the formation of injured stressed cells and viable but non-culturable (VBNC) cells. Both physiological states in the bacterial response to physical and chemical stresses should not be confused; sublethally injured cells can repair themselves and return to a normal physiological state under favorable conditions; VBNC typically do not form colonies on rich media, despite being viable, yet they can resuscitate in vivo and cause disease. For risk assessment studies, it is, therefore, critical to recover, when possible, all forms of stressed cells during culturing procedures. With the support of the Applied Laboratory Methods PDG, the Meat and Poultry Safety and Quality PDG, the Food Hygiene and Sanitation PDG, the Pre-Harvest Food Safety PDG and the Water Safety and Quality PDG, the symposium will provide, in three presentations, the latest information on the induction as well as in-vivo and in-vitro resuscitation of VBNC organisms including Escherichia coli O157:H7, Salmonella, Listeria, Vibrio and Legionella.


3:30 PM
4:00 PM
Virulence of VBNCs
Bill Keevil, University of Southampton
4:30 PM
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