Reduction of Escherichia coli O157:H7 viability on hard surfaces by treatment with a bacteriophage mixture

Stelios Viazis, Mastura Akhtar, Joellen Feirtag, Francisco Diez-Gonzalez

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62 Scopus citations


This study determined the effect of a previously characterized phage mixture, referred as BEC8 on enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli (EHEC) O157:H7 strains applied on materials typically used in food processing surfaces. Sterile stainless steel chips (SSC), ceramic tile chips (CTC), and high density polyethylene chips (HDPEC) were used. Cultures of EHEC O157:H7 strains EK27, ATCC 43895, and 472 were combined, spot inoculated on surfaces, and dried. Chips were inoculated with 106, 105, and 104CFU/chip, to obtain 1, 10 and 100 multiplicity of infection (MOI) values, respectively. Controls and BEC8 (approx. 106 PFU/chip) were applied on inoculated surfaces and incubated at 4, 12, 23, and 37°C. EHEC survival was determined using standard plate count on tryptic soy agar. At 37°C and 12°C on SSC, no survivors were detected (detection limit 10CFU/chip) after BEC8 treatment at MOI of 100 after 10min and at 23°C after 1h on SSC. A similar result was obtained on CTC at 37°C after 10min, and after 1h at 23°C. These results indicated that the phage cocktail was effective within an hour against low levels of the EHEC mixture at above room temperature on all 3 hard surfaces.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)37-42
Number of pages6
JournalInternational Journal of Food Microbiology
Issue number1
StatePublished - Jan 31 2011

Bibliographical note

Funding Information:
We thank Dr. Thomas Whittam (STEC Center, Michigan State University) for providing the EHEC EK27 strain and the Minnesota Department of Health for providing the 472 strain. We appreciate the guidance and supportive methodology provided by Dr. Elizabeth Kutter of Evergreen State College, WA. We are thankful to Dr. Lawrence Goodridge for sharing his phage isolates. We are also grateful for the support provided by the U. S. Department of Agriculture's Integrated Organic Program under award No. 2007-51300-03796 .


  • Antimicrobial
  • Bacteriophages
  • Enterohemorrhagic Escherichia coli
  • O157
  • Sanitizer


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