2013 Volume 28 Issue 2 Pages 180-186
An environmental isolate of Salmonella Enteritidis (SE), grown to the logarithmic phase, rapidly lost culturability by the addition of 3 mM H2O2 to cultures grown in Luria-Bertani (LB) medium; however, some H2O2-treated bacteria regained their culturability in M9 minimal medium, if sodium pyruvate was present at at least 0.3 mM. In addition, most pyruvate analogues, such as bromopyruvate or phenylpyruvate, did not show restoration activity similar to that of pyruvate, except in the case of α-ketobutyrate. Further analysis of the mechanism underlying the resuscitation by pyruvate revealed that although many of the bacteria showed respiratory activity on CTC (5-cyano-2,3-di-(p-tolyl) tetrazolium chloride) reduction with or without pyruvate, the biosynthesis of DNA and protein synthesis were quite different in the presence or absence of pyruvate, i.e., pyruvate endowed the cells with the ability to incorporate much more radio-label into precursors during the resuscitation process. These results suggest that pyruvate is one of the key molecules working in the resuscitation process by taking bacteria from the non-culturable state to the growing and colony-forming state by triggering the synthesis of macromolecules such as DNA and protein.