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Effect of co-culture with enterocinogenic E. faecium on L. monocytogenes key virulence gene expression

Laboratory of Food Quality Control and Hygiene, Department of Food Science and Human Nutrition, Agricultural University of Athens, Iera Odos 75, GR-118 55 Athens, Greece

Topical Section: Pathogenic microorganisms and human health

The aim of the present study was to assess the expression of key virulence genes during co-culture of L. monocytogenes with a bacteriocinogenic E. faecium strain in liquid growth medium. For that purpose, BHI broth was inoculated with 7 log CFU·mL–1 L. monocytogenes and 4, 5 or 6 log CFU·mL–1 E. faecium. Sampling took place after 8 and 24 h of incubation, corresponding to the maximum and minimum of enterocin production, respectively. The RNA was extracted, stabilized and expression of prfA, sigB, hly, plcA, plcB, inlA, inlB, inlC and inlJ, was assessed by RT-qPCR. Most of the genes were downregulated during co-culture at 5 °C. Moreover, a statistically significant effect of the inoculum level was evident in most of the cases. On the contrary, no effect on the transcription level of most of the genes was observed during co-culture at 37 °C.
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