Acid tolerance of acid-adapted and nonadapted Escherichia coli O157:H7 following habituation (10 degrees C) in fresh beef decontamination runoff fluids of different pH values.J Food Prot. 2004 Apr; 67(4):638-45.JF
This study evaluated survival of Escherichia coli O157:H7 strain ATCC 43895 during exposure to pH 3.5 following its habituation for 2 or 7 days at 10 degrees in fresh beef decontamination waste runoff fluid mixtures (washings) containing 0, 0.02, or 0.2% of lactic or acetic acids. Meat washings and sterile water (control) were initially inoculated with approximately 5 log CFU/ml of acid- and nonadapted E. coli O157:H7 cells cultured (30 degrees C, 24 h) in broth with and without 1% glucose, respectively. After 2 days, E. coli O157:H7 survivors from acetate washings (pH 3.7 to 4.7) survived at pH 3.5 better than E. coli O157:H7 survivors from lactate washings (pH 3.1 to 4.6), especially when the original inoculum was acid adapted. Also, although E. coli O157:H7 habituated in sterile water for 2 days survived well at pH 3.5, the corresponding survivors from nonacid water meat washings (pH 6.8) were rapidly killed at pH 3.5, irrespective of acid adaptation. After 7 days, E. coli O157:H7 survivors from acetate washings (pH 3.6 to 4.7) continued to resist pH 3.5, whereas those from lactate washings died off. This loss of acid tolerance by E. coli O157:H7 was due to either its low survival in 0.2% lactate washings (pH 3.1) or its acid sensitization in 0.02% lactate washings, in which a Pseudomonas-like natural flora showed extensive growth (> 8 log CFU/ml) and the pH increased to 6.5 to 6.6. Acid-adapted E. coli O157:H7 populations habituated in water washings (pH 7.1 to 7.3) for 7 days continued to be acid sensitive, whereas nonadapted populations increased their acid tolerance, a response merely correlated with their slight (< 1 log) growth at 10 degrees C. These results indicate that the expression of high acid tolerance by acid-adapted E. coli O157:H7 can be maintained or enhanced in acid-diluted meat decontamination waste runoff fluids of pH levels that could permit long-term survival at 10 degrees C. Previous acid adaptation, however, could reduce the growth potential of E. coli O157:H7 at 10 degrees C in nonacid waste fluids of high pH and enriched in natural flora. These conditions might further induce an acid sensitization to stationary E. coli O157:H7 cells.