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Salmonella forming a biofilm on an agar plate. Photo: Nesse & Vestby, National Veterinary Institute
Virginia Tech scientists have provided new evidence that biofilms — bacteria that adhere to surfaces and build protective coatings — are at work in the survival of the human pathogen Salmonella.
Researchers affiliated with the Fralin Life Science Institute discovered that in addition to protecting Salmonella from heat-processing and sanitizers such as bleach, biofilms preserve the bacteria in extremely dry conditions, and again when the bacteria are subjected to normal digestive processes. The study is now online in the International Journal of Food Microbiology and appears in the April issue.