Research – Interactions Between Infectious Foodborne Viruses and Bacterial Biofilms Formed on Different Food Contact Surfaces


Bacterial biofilms contribute to contamination, spoilage, persistence, and hygiene failure in the food industry, but relatively little is known about the behavior of foodborne viruses evolving in the complex communities that make up biofilm. The aim of this study was to evaluate the association between enteric viruses and biofilms on food contact surfaces. Formed biofilms of mono- and multispecies cultures were prepared on glass, stainless steel, and polystyrene coupons and 105 pfu/ml of murine norovirus, rotavirus, and hepatitis A virus were added and incubated for 15 min, 90 min, and 24 h. The data obtained clearly demonstrate that the presence of biofilms generally influences the adhesion of enteric viruses to different surfaces. Many significant increases in attachment rates were observed, particularly with rotavirus whose rate of viral infectious particles increased 7000 times in the presence of Pseudomonas fluorescens on polystyrene after 24 h of incubation and with hepatitis A virus, which seems to have an affinity for the biofilms formed by lactic acid bacteria. Murine norovirus seems to be the least influenced by the presence of biofilms with few significant increases. However, the different factors surrounding this association are unknown and seem to vary according to the viruses, the environmental conditions, and the composition of the biofilm.

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