Control of E. coli O157 on beef with bacteriophages

Efficacy of four bacteriophages (phages) and a cocktail for biocontrol of Escherichia coli O157 was assessed on beef samples stored at 4, 22 and 37 °C.

lunar.moduleSamples (3 × 3 × 1 cm) were contaminated withE. coli O157 (104 CFU/cm2) and treated with single phages: T5-like (T5), T1-like (T1), T4-like (T4) and O1-like (O1), or a cocktail at two titers: multiplicity of infection (MOI) = 1000 and MOI = 10. In contrast to previous studies, use of virucidal solution prevented over-estimation of phage efficacy. Irrespective of temperature and MOIs, T5 was most (P < 0.001) and O1 least (P < 0.05) effective for biocontrol of E. coliO157, with relative efficacy of other phages temperature dependent. At 4 °C, T1 (P < 0.05) and cocktail (P < 0.001) were more effective than T4. In contrast, T4 was equally (P = 0.08, at 37 °C) or less effective (P = 0.003, at 22 °C) than T5. Phages were more effective (P < 0.001) against E. coli O157 at warmer temperatures and high MOI.

As the beef supply chain includes hours of storage or transport at temperatures near 4 °C, this study demonstrates phages could significantly reduce E. coli O157 during this period.

Control of Escherichia coli O157 on beef at 37, 22 and 4 °C by T5-, T1-, T4-and O1-like bacteriophages

Food Microbiology Volume 51, October 2015, Pages 69–73, doi:10.1016/

Liu, Y.D. Niu, R. Meng, J. Wang, J. Li, R.P. Johnson, T.A. McAllister, K. Stanford