Role of Salmonella Newport cell surface structures on bacterial attachment and transfer during cucumber peeling

Lett Appl Microbiol. 2022 Nov;75(5):1246-1253. doi: 10.1111/lam.13792. Epub 2022 Aug 3.


Fresh cucumbers have been recognized as a vehicle in foodborne disease outbreaks since several multistate outbreaks of salmonellosis linked to fresh cucumbers occurred in the United States. Little is known about how microbial cell surface characteristics that are known to affect adhesion can influence bacterial cross-contamination and transfer. This study investigated the role of S. Newport cell surface components on bacterial attachment and transfer in cucumbers. Wild type Salmonella Newport and its transposon mutants were used to inoculate cucumbers. Attachment strength of S. Newport wild type to cucumber was not significantly different than that of mutants. Log10 percent transfer of mutant strains to edible flesh was not different from the wild type. Significantly less wild type Salmonella remained on the peel and transferred to the peeler than one mutant did, but not the other. Our results suggest that while curli and cellulose enhance Salmonella attachment to surface of cucumbers, there appear to be other mechanisms and factors that govern Salmonella transfer in cucumbers.

Keywords: Salmonella; bacterial attachment; bacterial transfer; cellulose; cross-contamination; cucumber; curli.

MeSH terms

  • Cellulose / metabolism
  • Cucumis sativus* / metabolism
  • Cucumis sativus* / microbiology
  • Salmonella / genetics
  • Salmonella Food Poisoning*
  • United States


  • Cellulose

Supplementary concepts

  • Salmonella enterica subsp. enterica