Determining the Effects of Propionate on Listeria monocytogenes Susceptibility to Lysozyme
Jeanne Paula Sering
Listeria monocytogenes is a harmful pathogen transmitted through contaminated food. Listeriosis, the infection associated with L. monocytogenes, is rare but potentially fatal, with a twenty to thirty percent mortality rate. For that reason, the lack of safe strategies to prevent infections can be detrimental. Current infection preventative strategies rely on stringent food surveillance and recalls, but we want to determine alternative tactics to further protect the public from L. monocytogenes. More specifically, we want to identify environmental factors that can compromise the ability of L. monocytogenes to cause infections before the pathogen reaches the intestines. For example, propionate is generally recognized as safe by the FDA and is used as an additive in various food products. Our lab has previously demonstrated that propionate exposure in L. monocytogenes can lead to changes in growth and pathogenesis. To determine how propionate exposure affects L. monocytogenes survival and fitness in the gastrointestinal tract, my thesis project therefore studies the effects of propionate on L. monocytogenes resistance to the lysozyme found in our saliva. If propionate enhances L. monocytogenes lysozyme resistance, the use of propionate in food products might contribute to L. monocytogenes survival during transmission between food and our gastrointestinal tract. However, if propionate decreases L. monocytogenes resistance to lysozyme, it could be beneficial to use propionate as an efficient infection preventative strategy. To better understand the functions of propionate in L. monocytogenes lysozyme resistance, I performed a literature review in the following areas: the importance of oral health, antimicrobial mechanisms in the oral cavity, lysozyme, and Listeria monocytogenes.
Primary Advisor's Department
Stander Symposium, College of Arts and Sciences
Institutional Learning Goals
"Determining the Effects of Propionate on Listeria monocytogenes Susceptibility to Lysozyme" (2023). Stander Symposium Projects. 2834.