Swarm motility ofSalmonella entericaserovar Typhimurium is inhibited by compounds from fruit peel extracts

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Abstract

Controlling spread of human pathogens on fresh produce is a top priority for public health reasons. Isolation of compounds from agricultural waste that would control spread of human pathogens was explored using Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium as a model organism. In the environment, micro-organisms migrate as a ‘community’ especially when they move on moist surfaces. This type of motility is characterized as swarming motility. We examined extracts from agricultural waste such as soya bean husk, peels of orange, pineapple, avocado and pomegranate for antiswarming activity. Avocado and pineapple peels showed moderate (˜40%) inhibition of swarming motility while pomegranate peel extract had high antiswarming activity (˜85% inhibition) and was examined in further detail. Although the pomegranate peel extract was acidic, swarm-inhibitory activity was not due to low pH and the peel extract did not inhibit growth of Salmonella. Among the key swarm motility regulatory genes, class II (fliF, fliA, fliT and fliZ) and class III (fliC and fliM) regulators were downregulated upon exposure to pomegranate peel extract. Pomegranate peels offer great potential as a bioactive repellent for pathogenic micro-organisms on moist surfaces.

Significance and Impact of the Study

Controlling the spread of food-borne pathogens in moist environments is an important microbial food safety issue. Isolation of compounds from agricultural waste (such as fruit peels) that would control spread of human pathogens was explored using Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium as a model organism. Pomegranate peels offer great potential as a bioactive repellent for pathogenic micro-organisms.

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