uwyo.edu: University of Wyoming researchers have discovered a substance that greatly increases the survival of listeria monocytogenes.

Researchers hope the discovery will lead to the development of techniques to better combat the pathogen and to improve food safety.

Mark Gomelsky, a professor in UW’s Department of Molecular Biology, and other researchers discovered and characterized a substance, called exopolysaccharide (EPS), that listeria secretes on its cell surface under certain conditions. The EPS coats bacterial cells and makes them form aggregates or clumps, which are strongly protected from commonly used disinfectants and desiccation (extreme drying).

“We think that EPS plays a significant role in survival of listeria in the environment, during food storage, processing and transportation,” Gomelsky says.

Read the full article at the University of Wyoming website