Biofilm formation of Bacillus cereus reference strains ATCC 14579 and ATCC 10987 and 21 undomesticated food isolates was studied on polystyrene and stainless steel as contact surfaces. For all strains, the biofilm forming capacity was significantly enhanced when in contact with stainless steel (SS) as a surface as compared to polystyrene (PS). For a selection of strains, the total CFU and spore counts in biofilms were determined and showed a good correlation between CFU counts and total biomass of these biofilms. Sporulation was favoured in the biofilm over the planktonic state. To substantiate whether iron availability could affect B. cereus biofilm formation, the free iron availability was varied in BHI by either the addition of FeCl3 or by depletion of iron with the scavenger 2,2-Bipyridine. Addition of iron resulted in increased air-liquid interface biofilm on polystyrene but not on SS for strain ATCC 10987, while the presence of Bipyridine reduced biofilm formation for both materials. Biofilm formation was restored when excess FeCl3 was added in combination with the scavenger. Further validation of the iron effect for all 23 strains in microtiter plate showed that fourteen strains (including ATCC10987) formed a biofilm on PS. For eight of these strains biofilm formation was enhanced in the presence of added iron and for eleven strains it was reduced when free iron was scavenged. Our results show that stainless steel as a contact material provides more favourable conditions for B. cereus biofilm formation and maturation compared to polystyrene. This effect could possibly be linked to iron availability as we show that free iron availability affects B. cereus biofilm formation.
- processing environments
- twitching motility