S. Typhimurium virulence changes caused by exposure to different non-thermal preservation treatments using C. elegans

Int J Food Microbiol. 2017 Dec 4;262:49-54. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2017.09.006. Epub 2017 Sep 13.


The aims of this research study were: (i) to postulate Caenorhabditis elegans (C. elegans) as a useful organism to describe infection by Salmonella enterica serovar Typhimurium (S. Typhimurium), and (ii) to evaluate changes in virulence of S. Typhimurium when subjected repetitively to different antimicrobial treatments. Specifically, cauliflower by-product infusion, High Hydrostatic Pressure (HHP), and Pulsed Electric Fields (PEF). This study was carried out by feeding C. elegans with different microbial populations: E. coli OP50 (optimal conditions), untreated S. Typhimurium, S. Typhimurium treated once and three times with cauliflower by-product infusion, S. Typhimurium treated once and four times with HHP and S. Typhimurium treated once and four times with PEF. Bayesian survival analysis was applied to estimate C. elegans lifespan when fed with the different microbial populations considered. Results showed that C. elegans is a useful organism to describe infection by S. Typhimurium because its lifespan was reduced when it was infected. In addition, the application of antimicrobial treatments repetitively generated different responses: when cauliflower by-product infusion and PEF treatment were applied repetitively the virulence of S. Typhimurium was lower than when the treatment was applied once. In contrast, when HHP treatment was applied repetitively, the virulence of S. Typhimurium was higher than when it was applied once. Nevertheless, in all the populations analyzed treated S. Typhimurium had lower virulence than untreated S. Typhimurium.

Keywords: Antimicrobial; Bayesian survival analysis; High Hydrostatic Pressure; Pulsed Electric Fields.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / pharmacology
  • Bayes Theorem
  • Brassica / metabolism
  • Caenorhabditis elegans / microbiology*
  • Disease Models, Animal
  • Escherichia coli / pathogenicity*
  • Foodborne Diseases / microbiology
  • Hydrostatic Pressure*
  • Plant Preparations / pharmacology*
  • Salmonella Infections / microbiology
  • Salmonella Infections / pathology
  • Salmonella typhimurium / pathogenicity*
  • Virulence


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents
  • Plant Preparations