Indexed on: 03 Apr '13Published on: 03 Apr '13Published in: Scientific Reports
Cell lytic enzymes represent an alternative to chemical decontamination or use of antibiotics to kill pathogenic bacteria, such as listeria. A number of phage cell lytic enzymes against listeria have been isolated and possess listericidal activity; however, there has been no attempt to incorporate these enzymes onto surfaces. We report three facile routes for the surface incorporation of the listeria bacteriophage endolysin Ply500: covalent attachment onto FDA approved silica nanoparticles (SNPs), incorporation of SNP-Ply500 conjugates into a thin poly(hydroxyethyl methacrylate) film; and affinity binding to edible crosslinked starch nanoparticles via construction of a maltose binding protein fusion. These Ply500 formulations were effective in killing L. innocua (a reduced pathogenic surrogate) at challenges up to 10(5) CFU/ml both in non-growth sustaining PBS as well as under growth conditions on lettuce. This strategy represents a new route toward achieving highly selective and efficient pathogen decontamination and prevention in public infrastructure.