Changes in heat tolerance of Escherichia coli O157:H7 after exposure to acidic environments

J. H. Ryu, L. R. Beuchat

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46 Citations (Scopus)


Acid-adapted bacterial cells are known to have enhanced tolerance to various secondary stresses. However, a comparison of heat tolerance of acid-adapted and acid-shocked cells of Escherichia coli 0157:H7 has not been reported D- and z-values of acid-adapted, acid-shocked, and control cells of an unusually heat-resistant strain (E0139) of E. coli 0157:H7, as well as two other strains of E. coli 0157:H7, were determined based upon the number of cells surviving heat treatment at 52, 54 or 56°C in tryptic soy broth (pH 7 2) for 0, 10, 20 or 30 min. The unusual heat tolerance of E. coli 0157:H17 strain E0139 was confirmed. D- values for cells from 24-h cultures were 100.2, 28.3, and 6.1 min at 52, 54 and 56°C, respectively, with a z-value of 3.3°C. The highest D-values of other E. coli 0157:H7 strains were 13.6 and 9.2 min at 52 and 54°C, respectively, whereas highest D-values of non-O157:H7 strains were 78.3 and 29. 7 rain at 52 and 54°C. D-values of acid-adapted cells were significantly higher than those of unadapted and acid-shocked cells at all temperatures tested. In a previous study, we observed that both acid-adapted cells and acid-shocked cells of strain E0139 had enhanced acid tolerance. This suggests that different mechanisms protect acid-adapted and acid-shocked cells against subsequent exposure to heat or an acidic environment. The two types of cells should be considered separately when evaluating survival and growth characteristics upon subsequent exposure to different secondary stress conditions.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)317-324
Number of pages8
JournalFood Microbiology
Issue number3
Publication statusPublished - 1999 Jun
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Food Science
  • Microbiology


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