Attachment of and biofilm formation by Enterobacter sakazakii on stainless steel and enteral feeding tubes

Hoikyung Kim, Jee Hoon Ryu, Larry R. Beuchat

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146 Citations (Scopus)


Enterobacter sakazakii has been reported to form biofilms, but environmental conditions affecting attachment to and biofilm formation on abiotic surfaces have not been described. We did a study to determine the effects of temperature and nutrient availability on attachment and biofilm formation by E. sakazakii on stainless steel and enteral feeding tubes. Five strains grown to stationary phase in tryptic soy broth (TSB), infant formula broth (IFB), or lettuce juice broth (LJB) at 12 and 25°C were examined for the extent to which they attach to these materials. Higher populations attached at 25°C than at 12°C. Stainless steel coupons and enteral feeding tubes were immersed for 24 h at 4°C in phosphate-buffered saline suspensions (7 log CFU/ml) to facilitate the attachment of 5.33 to 5.51 and 5.03 to 5.12 log CFU/cm2, respectively, before they were immersed in TSB, IFB, or LJB, followed by incubation at 12 or 25°C for up to 10 days. Biofilms were not produced at 12°C. The number of cells of test strains increased by 1.42 to 1.67 log CFU/cm2 and 1.16 to 1.31 log CFU/cm2 in biofilms formed on stainless steel and feeding tubes, respectively, immersed in IFB at 25°C; biofilms were not formed on TSB and LJB at 25°C, indicating that nutrient availability plays a major role in processes leading to biofilm formation on the surfaces of these inert materials. These observations emphasize the importance of temperature control in reconstituted infant formula preparation and storage areas in preventing attachment and biofilm formation by E. sakazakii.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)5846-5856
Number of pages11
JournalApplied and environmental microbiology
Issue number9
Publication statusPublished - 2006 Sept

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Biotechnology
  • Food Science
  • Applied Microbiology and Biotechnology
  • Ecology


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