Interaction of Salmonella enterica with basil and other salad leaves

Cedric N. Berger, Robert K. Shaw, Derek J. Brown, Henry Mather, Simon Clare, Gordon Dougan, Mark J. Pallen, Gad Frankel

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84 Citations (Scopus)


Contaminated salad leaves have emerged as important vehicles for the transmission of enteric pathogens to humans. A recent outbreak of Salmonella enterica serovar Senftenberg (S. Senftenberg) in the United Kingdom has been traced to the consumption of contaminated basil. Using the outbreak strain of S. Senftenberg, we found that it binds to basil, lettuce, rocket and spinach leaves showing a pattern of diffuse adhesion. Flagella were seen linking S. Senftenberg to the leaf epidermis, and the deletion of fliC (encoding phase-1 flagella) resulted in a significantly reduced level of adhesion. In contrast, although flagella linking S. enterica serovar Typhimurium to the basil leaf epidermis were widespread, deletion of fliC did not affect leaf attachment levels. These results implicate the role of flagella in Salmonella leaf attachment and suggest that different Salmonella serovars use strain-specific mechanisms to attach to salad leaves.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)261-265
Number of pages5
JournalThe ISME Journal
Issue number2
Publication statusPublished - 1 Feb 2009
Externally publishedYes


  • Flagella
  • Salad leaves
  • Salmonella enterica

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