Credit: Janice Carr/CDC
Researchers have announced some good news in the fight against microbial food contamination. They have discovered how Salmonella bacteria infect salad leaves and other vegetables.
Salmonella bacteria use certain cell structures called flagella to attach to lettuce leaves. Flagella are long, whip-like protrusions that aid in cellular locomotion, but in this case, they are also used to grab onto lettuce and other vegetables. The researchers found that when they genetically engineered bacteria without flagella and exposed them to vegetables, the vegetables remained uncontaminated.
Now that the method by which these bacteria infect vegetables has been identified, researchers can now focus on ways to prevent vegetable contamination by Salmonella.
Learn more about this study, see:
- How Salmonella Bacteria Contaminate Salad Leaves (Science Daily)