The viable but non-culturable (VBNC) state is a remarkable survival mechanism in which cells exist in a physiologically inactive state. Bacteria in the VBNC state do not form colonies, and thus, are difficult to detect using colony-based methods. As a result, VBNC bacteria are potentially virulent and can cause widespread contamination during food production. In the present study, we reported a novel biomarker, the membrane vesicle protein PagC, for the detection of VBNC Salmonella. Salmonella cells were chemically induced into the VBNC state by H2 O2 treatment. The bacterial cells retained their shapes but were observed to release numerous membrane vesicles, which were accompanied by a transient PagC overexpression. Immunoblotting was performed to detect PagC in pathogenic strains, including Salmonella Enteritidis and S. Typhimurium, which are harmful and known to cause food-borne gastroenteritis in humans and other animals. Therefore, our findings demonstrated the potential use of PagC as a biomarker for the detection of VBNC Salmonella in food production.
- Vesicle protein
ASJC Scopus subject areas