Dual-species biofilm of Listeria monocytogenes and Escherichia coli on stainless steel surface

  • Aline Zago de Grandi
  • Uelinton Manoel PintoEmail author
  • Maria Teresa Destro
Original Paper


Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive bacterium commonly associated with foodborne diseases. Due its ability to survive under adverse environmental conditions and to form biofilm, this bacterium is a major concern for the food industry, since it can compromise sanitation procedures and increase the risk of post-processing contamination. Little is known about the interaction between L. monocytogenes and Gram-negative bacteria on biofilm formation. Thus, in order to evaluate this interaction, Escherichia coli and L. monocytogenes were tested for their ability to form biofilms together or in monoculture. We also aimed to evaluate the ability of L. monocytogenes 1/2a and its isogenic mutant strain (ΔprfA ΔsigB) to form biofilm in the presence of E. coli. We assessed the importance of the virulence regulators, PrfA and σB, in this process since they are involved in many aspects of L. monocytogenes pathogenicity. Biofilm formation was assessed using stainless steel AISI 304 #4 slides immersed into brain heart infusion broth, reconstituted powder milk and E. coli preconditioned medium at 25 °C. Our results indicated that a higher amount of biofilm was formed by the wild type strain of L. monocytogenes than by its isogenic mutant, indicating that prfA and sigB are important for biofilm development, especially maturation under our experimental conditions. The presence of E. coli or its metabolites in preconditioned medium did not influence biofilm formation by L. monocytogenes. Our results confirm the possibility of concomitant biofilm formation by L. monocytogenes and E. coli, two bacteria of major significance in the food industry.


Biofilms Listeria monocytogenes Escherichia coli Coculture PrfA SigB 



UMP acknowledges a grand support for this project from CNPq-Brazil (Process 457794/2014-3) and the Food Research Center (FAPESP 2013/07914-8); AZG acknowledges CAPES for the fellowship and MTD FAPESP for grant support (Process 2011/18033-7).

Author contributions

AZG designed and performed experiments. MTD advised the study and revised the manuscript. UMP analyzed and interpreted the results and wrote the manuscript.


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Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V., part of Springer Nature 2018

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of Food and Experimental Nutrition, Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil
  2. 2.Food Research Center (FoRC), Faculty of Pharmaceutical SciencesUniversity of São PauloSão PauloBrazil

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