Impact of cranberry on Escherichia coli cellular surface characteristics
The anti-adhesive effects of cranberry have been attributed to both interactions of its components with the surface of bacterial cells and to inhibition of p-fimbriae expression. Previous reports also suggested that the presence of cranberry juice changed the Gram stain characteristics of Escherichia coli. Here, we show that the morphology of E. coli is changed when grown in the presence of juice or extract from Vaccinium macrocarpon (cranberry). Gene expression analysis indicates the down regulation of flagellar basal body rod and motor proteins. Consistent with this finding and previous reports, the SEM images indicate a decrease in the visible p-fimbriae. The iodine used in Gram-staining protocols was found to interact differently with the bacterial membrane when cells were cultured in spiked media. Slight alterations in the Gram stain protocol demonstrated that culturing in the presence of cranberry juice does not change the Gram stain characteristics contradicting other reports.