5 years ago

Interaction of microorganisms within leafy green phyllospheres: Where do human noroviruses fit in?

Human noroviruses (hNoV) are one of the major causes of foodborne disease outbreaks linked to leafy greens. However, the interactions—including attachment and persistence—of hNoV with leafy greens are not well characterized. In the present review, three mechanisms are hypothesized for the interaction of hNoV with leafy green phyllospheres: 1) specific binding to histo-blood group antigen (HBGA)-like carbohydrates exposed on leaf surfaces and present on bacterial microbiota; 2) non-specific binding through electrostatic forces; and 3) internalization of hNoV through contaminated water (e.g. hydroponic feed water). To add more complexity, there is a rich diversity of microbial communities (i.e., bacteria, fungi, protozoa) residing in leafy green phyllospheres, and the attachment and persistence of hNoV could be largely impacted by these microorganisms through direct and indirect interactions. For instance, enzymes produced by bacteria and fungi could potentially compromise the structure of HBGA-like carbohydrate binding sites on leaves, leading to a reduction in hNoV binding. On the other hand, some bacteria also possess HBGA-like binding sites on their cell surface, which may provide extra binding locations for hNoV. There are also numerous metabolic compounds that can be produced by leafy greens and its microbial inhabitants and be subsequently distributed within leafy green phyllospheres. These compounds could theoretically play roles in enhancement or reduction in the attachment of hNoV. Overall, increasing the understanding of the various types of hNoV attachment and interactions with leafy green phyllospheres will be crucial for elucidating hNoV transmission via leafy greens as well as for the development of effective control measures.

Publisher URL: www.sciencedirect.com/science

DOI: S0168160517303070

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