Academic article

Microbial dynamics in mixed culture biofilms of bacteria surviving sanitation of conveyor belts in salmon-processing plants

Langsrud, Solveig; Moen, Birgitte; Møretrø, Trond; Løype, Marie; Heir, Even

Publication details

Journal: Journal of Applied Microbiology, vol. 120, p. 366–378, 2016

Issue: 2

International Standard Numbers:
Printed: 1364-5072
Electronic: 1365-2672

Open Access: none

Links:
DOI

Aims

The microbiota surviving sanitation of salmon-processing conveyor belts was identified and its growth dynamics further investigated in a model mimicking processing surfaces in such plants.


Methods and Results

A diverse microbiota dominated by Gram-negative bacteria was isolated after regular sanitation in three salmon processing plants. A cocktail of 14 bacterial isolates representing all genera isolated from conveyor belts (Listeria, Pseudomonas, Stenotrophomonas, Brochothrix, Serratia, Acinetobacter, Rhodococcus and Chryseobacterium) formed stable biofilms on steel coupons (12°C, salmon broth) of about 109 CFU cm−2 after 2 days. High-throughput sequencing showed that Listeria monocytogenes represented 0·1–0·01% of the biofilm population and that Pseudomonas spp dominated. Interestingly, both Brochothrix sp. and a Pseudomonas sp. dominated in the surrounding suspension.


Conclusions

The microbiota surviving sanitation is dominated by Pseudomonas spp. The background microbiota in biofilms inhibit, but do not eliminate L. monocytogenes.


Significance and Impact of the Study

The results highlights that sanitation procedures have to been improved in the salmon-processing industry, as high numbers of a diverse microbiota survived practical sanitation. High-throughput sequencing enables strain level studies of population dynamics in biofilm.