Applied and environmental microbiology

Enhanced recovery of injured Escherichia coli by compounds that degrade hydrogen peroxide or block its formation.

PMID 6338823


Escherichia coli LSUFS was injured either by freezing at -10 degrees C or by heating at 57 degrees C for 12 min. Surviving cells were recovered on nonselective tryptone-glucose extract agar and selective violet red bile agar supplemented with compounds that degrade hydrogen peroxide or block its formation. Various concentrations of the following compounds were tested: sodium pyruvate, 3,3'-thiodipropionic acid, catalase, ascorbic acid, potassium permanganate, sodium thioglycolate, dimethylsulfoxide, ethoxyquin, n-propyl gallate, alpha-tocopherol sodium metabisulfite, and ferrous sulfate. Sodium pyruvate and 3,3'-thiodipropionic acid, when added to either medium, significantly (P greater than 0.01) increased recovery of injured cells. More than 90% of the heat-injured cells and 40 to 90% of the freeze-injured cells failed to grow on unsupplemented tryptone-glucose extract agar. Supplementation of violet red bile agar increased recovery, but the counts remained considerably lower than the tryptone-glucose extract agar counts. The repair detection procedure of Speck et al. (M. Speck, B. Ray, R. Read, Jr., Appl. Microbiol. 29:549-550, 1975) was greatly improved by the addition of pyruvate or 3,3'-thiodipropionic acid. However, when this improved repair detection procedure was applied to foods, pyruvate-supplemented media showed some false-positives. We therefore recommend that 3,3'-thiodipropionic acid be used to supplement media in the repair detection procedure.

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3,3′-Thiodipropionic acid, 97%