Single- and Multispecies Biofilms by Escherichia coli, Staphylococcus aureus, and Salmonella spp. Isolated from Raw Fish and a Fish Processing Unit

<div><p>ABSTRACT: The consumption of fish by the Brazilian population is increasing. However, fish and seafood are highly perishable and can be contaminated with several microorganisms. In addition, the possibility of biofilm formation is a greater cause for concern. In this study, biofilm formation was evaluated in single- and multispecies cultures at 25°C for incubation periods of 0, 4, 8, 24, and 48h in stainless steel coupons (size, 1.0×1.0cm) immersed in tryptic soy broth. The characteristics of the formed biofilms after sanitizing by immersing the coupons in 200ppm sodium hypochlorite solution for 10min were also evaluated under the same experimental conditions but with some modifications. Biofilm structure was evaluated using scanning electron microscopy. Analysis of single-species biofilms indicated that all bacterial strains formed biofilms at different intervals without any statistically significant difference. However, comparison of the growth of single- and multispecies cultures indicated a significantly higher biofilm formation by the pure cultures. In multispecies biofilms, compared with the other microorganisms, growth of Salmonella spp. was significantly lower for all tested incubation periods; whereas, of Staphylococcus aureus was significantly higher than that of E. coli until 8h of incubation; the differences in growth were not significantly different after this incubation period. Sanitizing with sodium hypochlorite was effective because no cell growth was observed in the coupons that were treated with 200ppm sodium hypochlorite for 10min. This study demonstrated the ability of isolated microorganisms to form biofilms, reinforcing the need for food handling establishments to adopt good manufacturing practices, developing adequate protocols for cleaning and disinfecting surfaces and equipment used in food production, maintaining and replacing equipment when necessary.</p></div>