The project is being undertaken in response to the need to control the presence of Listeria monocytogenes in the cheese making dairy. The persistence of L. monocytogenes in this environment will be correlated with its capacity for adaptation to acid and salt and its ability to form biofilm and resist disinfection. Identification of proteins involved in these physiological responses will allow identification of the corresponding gene. The data will be used to formulate advice on control of L. monocytogenes in the dairy. It will also provide tools that will predict the presence of strains with a high capacity to form biofilm in the dairy and hence are likely to become endemic. Finally it will provide evidence for which strain characteristics might be open to blockade as a strategy to prevent or remove biofilm.
The overall objectives are
- To identify characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes that enable it to persist in cheese and within cheese-making dairies;
- To elaborate a manual of advice and good practice for control L. monocytogenes in the dairies;
- To provide evidence for which listerial proteins might be neutralised to prevent biofilm;
- To provide tools for predicting which strains of L. monocytogenes are likely to colonise the dairies.