Since the historic outbreak near Broad Street in London, which serves as cornerstone of modern epidemiology, infectious diseases spread in surface and sub-surface water has been a persisting public health challenge. The current study investigated persistence of wild-type and pressure-stressed Listeria monocytogenes, Escherichia coli O157:H7, and non-typhoidal Salmonella enterica serovars in surface water stored aerobically for up to 28 days at 5, 25, and 37 °C. Additionally, biofilm formation of wild-type and pressure-stressed non-typhoidal Salmonella serovars were monitored on surface of stainless steel and rubber coupons for 28 days at 25 and 37 °C. While L. monocytogenes exhibited a lower (p < 0.05) survival rate at 5 °C, relative to the two Gram-negative pathogens, at higher temperatures of 25 and 37 °C, all three pathogens exhibited similar (p ≥ 0.05) trends for survival in surface water. Both wild-type and pressure-stressed Salmonella serovars in the vast majority of tested times, temperatures, and surfaces exhibited comparable (p ≥ 0.05) persistence and biofilm formation capability. Our study thus indicates the occurrence of contamination could lead to prolonged survival of these microorganisms in low-nutrient environments and highlights the need for preventive measures such as those articulated under Produce Safety Rule of the U.S. Food Safety Modernization Act.
Kabir, M.N.; Aras, S.; Wadood, S.; Chowdhury, S.; Fouladkhah, A.C. Fate and Biofilm Formation of Wild-Type and Pressure-Stressed Pathogens of Public Health Concern in Surface Water and on Abiotic Surfaces. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 408. https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8030408