Colonization outwith the colon: plants as an alternative environmental reservoir for human pathogenic enterobacteria

Nicola Holden, Leighton Pritchard, Ian Toth

Research output: Contribution to journalReview articlepeer-review

100 Citations (Scopus)


Members of the Enterobacteriaceae have the capacity to adapt to a wide variety of environments and can be isolated from a range of host species across biological kingdoms. Bacteria that are pathogenic to animals, in particular humans, are increasingly found to be transmitted through the food chain by fruits and vegetables. Rather than simply contaminating plant surfaces, there is a growing body of evidence to show that these bacteria actively interact with plants and can colonize them as alternative hosts. This review draws together evidence from studies that investigate proven and potential mechanisms involved in colonization of plants by human pathogenic enterobacteria.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)689-703
Number of pages15
JournalFEMS Microbiology Reviews
Issue number4
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jul 2009


  • fresh produce
  • human pathogenic centerobacteria
  • Plant colonization
  • Plant hosts

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