Acetic acid induces pH-independent cellular energy depletion in Salmonella enterica

Sui Mae Lee, Gary A Dykes, Sin Mei Tan

    Research output: Contribution to journalArticleResearchpeer-review

    10 Citations (Scopus)

    Abstract

    Weak organic acids are widely used as preservatives and disinfectants in the food industry. Despite their widespread use, the antimicrobial mode of action of organic acids is still not fully understood. This study investigated the effect of acetic acid on the cell membranes and cellular energy generation of four Salmonella strains. Using a nucleic acid/protein assay, it was established that acetic acid did not cause leakage of intracellular components from the strains. A scanning electron microscopy study further confirmed that membrane disruption was not the antimicrobial mode of action of acetic acid. Some elongated Salmonella cells observed in the micrographs indicated a possibility that acetic acid may inhibit DNA synthesis in the bacterial cells. Using an ATP assay, it was found that at a neutral pH, acetic acid caused cellular energy depletion with an ADP/ATP ratio in the range between 0.48 and 2.63 (p
    Original languageEnglish
    Pages (from-to)183 - 189
    Number of pages7
    JournalFoodborne Pathogens and Disease
    Volume12
    Issue number3
    DOIs
    Publication statusPublished - 2015

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