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Open Access Research article

Micro ecosystems from feed industry surfaces: a survival and biofilm study of Salmonella versus host resident flora strains

Olivier Habimana1*, Trond Møretrø1, Solveig Langsrud1, Lene K Vestby2, Live L Nesse2 and Even Heir1

Author Affiliations

1 Nofima Mat AS, Osloveien 1, N-1430 Ås, Norway

2 National Veterinary Institute, Section of Bacteriology, P.O. Box 750 Sentrum, N-0106 Oslo, Norway

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BMC Veterinary Research 2010, 6:48  doi:10.1186/1746-6148-6-48

Published: 2 November 2010

Abstract

Background

The presence of Salmonella enterica serovars in feed ingredients, products and processing facilities is a well recognized problem worldwide. In Norwegian feed factories, strict control measures are implemented to avoid establishment and spreading of Salmonella throughout the processing chain. There is limited knowledge on the presence and survival of the resident microflora in feed production plants. Information on interactions between Salmonella and other bacteria in feed production plants and how they affect survival and biofilm formation of Salmonella is also limited. The aim of this study was to identify resident microbiota found in feed production environments, and to compare the survival of resident flora strains and Salmonella to stress factors typically found in feed processing environments. Moreover, the role of dominant resident flora strains in the biofilm development of Salmonella was determined.

Results

Surface microflora characterization from two feed productions plants, by means of 16 S rDNA sequencing, revealed a wide diversity of bacteria. Survival, disinfection and biofilm formation experiments were conducted on selected dominant resident flora strains and Salmonella. Results showed higher survival properties by resident flora isolates for desiccation, and disinfection compared to Salmonella isolates. Dual-species biofilms favored Salmonella growth compared to Salmonella in mono-species biofilms, with biovolume increases of 2.8-fold and 3.2-fold in the presence of Staphylococcus and Pseudomonas, respectively.

Conclusions

These results offer an overview of the microflora composition found in feed industry processing environments, their survival under relevant stresses and their potential effect on biofilm formation in the presence of Salmonella. Eliminating the establishment of resident flora isolates in feed industry surfaces is therefore of interest for impeding conditions for Salmonella colonization and growth on feed industry surfaces. In-depth investigations are still needed to determine whether resident flora has a definite role in the persistence of Salmonella in feed processing environments.