Listeria monocytogenes is a food borne pathogen causing listeriosis in humans and animals. L. monocytogenes can tolerate severe environments and food processing conditions by forming biofilms and becoming resistant to disinfectants. Thus, it is important to develop new strategies to control the contamination of L. monocytogenes and keep food safety. In the present study, a new L. monocytogenes phage vB-LmoMSH3-3 (designated as phage SH3-3) was isolated from a food processing plant. The genome of phage SH3-3 shares homology with multiple non-Listeria phages, but shares low similarity with classical Listeria phages. Phage SH3-3 showed widely lytic activity to Listeria spp. including L. monocytogenes, L.innocua and L. welshimeri. With an efficient minimal inhibitory concentration, phage SH3-3 could also inhibit the formation of the dense and net-like structure of the L. monocytogenes biofilm. Moreover, phage SH3-3 showed high efficacy against L. monocytogenes in salmon meat and orange juice. Therefore, phage SH3-3 could be potentially used as a natural biocontrol preservative to reduce L. monocytogenes contamination in ready-to-eat food and during the processing stages of food production.
Zhang Hui is a PhD, professor and postgraduate student supervisor. From 2012 to 2013, she was the visiting scholar to Guelph Food Research Center of Agriculture and Agri-Food Canada. From 2014 to 2015, he was the visiting scholar to the College of Agriculture and Natural Resources, University of Connecticut.
In the past five years, Zhang Hui has been mainly engaged in research on monitoring and control of zoonotic pathogen contamination, focusing on research and development of key food safety prevention and control technologies and products
based on bacteriophage technology. As the Director of China Food-borne Microorganism Detection Technology Innovation Alliance, Dr. Zhang presided over projects under National Natural Science Foundation of China and Jiangsu Provincial Independent Innovation Fund and the preparation of industrial standards of Ministry of Agriculture and Rural Affairs. She published more than 50 papers in well-known journals such as PNAS, Scientific Reports, Food Microbiology and Food Control, obtained 11 authorized invention patents. Moreover, she won the second prize of Jiangsu Science and Technology Award and Outstanding Invention Patent Award of Jiangsu Province.