The resistance of five gram-positive bacteria. Enterococcus faecalis, Staphylococcus aureus. Lactobacillus plantarum, Listeria innocua and Leuconostoc dextranicum, and six gram-negative bacteria. Salmonella enterica serovar typhimurium, Shigella flexneri, Yersinia enterocolitica, Pseudomonas fluorescens and two strains of Escherichia coli, to high-pressure homogenisation (100 300 MPa) and to high hydrostatic pressure (200-400 MPa) was compared in this study. Within the group of gram-positive bacteria and within the group of gram-negative bacteria, large differences were observed in resistance to high hydrostatic pressure, but not to high-pressure homogenisation. All gram-positive bacteria were more resistant than any of the gram-negative bacteria to high-pressure homogenisation, while in relative to high hydrostatic pressure resistance both groups overlapped. Within the group of gram-negative bacteria, there also existed another order in resistance to high-pressure homogenisation than to high hydrostatic pressure. Further it appears that the mutant E. coli LMM1010, which is resistant to high hydrostatic pressure is not more resistant to high-pressure homogenisation than its parental strain MG1655. The preceding observations indicate a different response of the test bacteria to high-pressure homogenisation compared to high hydrostatic pressure treatment, which suggests that the underlying inactivation mechanisms for both techniques are different. Further, no sublethal injury could be observed upon high-pressure homogenisation of Y enterocolitica and S. aureus cell population by using low pH (5.5 - 7), NaCl (0 - 6%) or SDS (0 - 100 mg/l) as selective components in the plating medium. Finally, it was observed that successive rounds of high-pressure homogenisation have an additive effect on viability reduction of Y enterocolitica and S. aureus. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V All rights reserved.