Effect of Heat Shock and Incubation Atmosphere on Injury and Recovery of Escherichia coli O157:H7. Academic Article uri icon


  • Escherichia coli serotype O157:H7 cells were grown at 30C for 6 h and subjected to a heat stress, or heat shock, at 42C for 5 min. Heat-shocked and nonheat-shocked controls were heat treated at 55C for up to 60 min. The number of injured cells was significantly higher in heat-shocked cells than in controls, and the rate of release of cell components was higher in heat-shocked cells. Anaerobic plating resulted in higher recovery of injured cells, when compared with aerobic plating, regardless of whether the cells were heat shocked or not. In addition, heat shocking resulted in lower catalase and superoxide dismutase activities when compared with controls. It also resulted in greater survivability after exposure to hydrogen peroxide, suggesting that heat shocking somehow enables the cells to survive exposure to toxic substances in addition to heat. The heat-shock response, coupled with anaerobic conditions, increased the ability of E. coli O157:H7 cells to recover after a heat treatment. Thus, heat shock did not afford protection to the cells against injury, but rather enhanced their ability to recover during storage.

published proceedings

  • J Food Prot

author list (cited authors)

  • Murano, E. A., & Pierson, M. D.

citation count

  • 30

complete list of authors

  • Murano, Elsa A||Pierson, Merle D

publication date

  • July 1993