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Listeria monocytogenes is sporadically detected on a range of ready to eat fresh produce lines, such as spinach and rocket, and is a threat to public health. However, little is known about the diversity of L. monocytogenes present on fresh produce and their potential pathogenicity. In this work, fifteen Listeria monocytogenes isolates from the UK fresh produce supply chain were characterised using whole genome sequencing (WGS). Additionally, isolates were characterised based on their ability to form biofilm. Whole genome sequencing data was used to determine the sequence type of isolates based on multi-locus sequence typing (MLST), construct a core single nucleotide polymorphism (SNP) phylogeny and determine the presence of virulence and resistance associated genes. MLST revealed 9 distinct sequence types (STs) spanning 2 lineages (I & II) with one isolate belonging to the ST6 subtype, strains from which have been recently implicated in two large, food-associated L. monocytogenes outbreaks in South Africa and across Europe. Although most of the 15 isolates were different, comparison of core genome SNPs showed 4 pairs of 'indistinguishable' strains (<5 SNPs difference). Virulence profiling revealed that some isolates completely lacked the Listeria pathogenicity island-3 (LIPI-3) amongst other virulence factors. Investigation of the inlA gene showed that no strains in this study contained a premature stop codon (PMSC), an indicator of attenuated virulence. Assessment of biofilm production showed that isolates found in the fresh produce supply chain differ in their ability to form biofilm. This trait is considered important for L. monocytogenes to persist in environments associated with food production and processing. Overall the work indicates that a genetically diverse range of L. monocytogenes strains is present in the UK fresh produce supply chain and the virulence profiles found suggests that at least some of the strains are capable of causing human illness. Interestingly, the presence of some genetically indistinguishable isolates within the 15 isolates examined suggests that cross-contamination in the fresh produce environment does occur. These findings have useful implications in terms of food safety and for informing microbial surveillance programmes in the UK fresh produce supply chain.
This article was published in the following journal.
Name: International journal of food microbiology
We present the LiSEQ (Listeria SEQuencing) project, funded by the European Food Safety Agency (EFSA) to compare Listeria monocytogenes isolates collected in the European Union from ready-to-eat foods,...
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Bacteriocins produced by species of PEDIOCOCCUS. They range from 3.5-4.6 kDa in mass, contain a conserved YGNGVXCXK motif and beta sheet at their N-terminals, and a more diverse hydrophobic or amphiphilic C-terminal alpha helical domain. They function as antimicrobial peptides against several pathogenic species of GRAM POSITIVE BACTERIA, including LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES and are useful as FOOD PRESERVATIVES.
Inflammation of the meninges caused by LISTERIA MONOCYTOGENES infection, usually occurring in individuals under the age of 3 years or over the age of 50 years. It may occur at any age in individuals with IMMUNOLOGIC DEFICIENCY SYNDROMES. Clinical manifestations include FEVER, altered mentation, HEADACHE, meningeal signs, focal neurologic signs, and SEIZURES. (From Medicine 1998 Sep;77(5):313-36)
A species of gram-positive, rod-shaped bacteria widely distributed in nature. It has been isolated from sewage, soil, silage, and from feces of healthy animals and man. Infection with this bacterium leads to encephalitis, meningitis, endocarditis, and abortion.
Infections with bacteria of the genus LISTERIA.
Transformative processes which occur in cells and tissues to produce differentiated plant organs.
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Bioinformatics is the application of computer software and hardware to the management of biological data to create useful information. Computers are used to gather, store, analyze and integrate biological and genetic information which can then be applied...
DNA sequencing is the process of determining the precise order of nucleotides within a DNA molecule. During DNA sequencing, the bases of a small fragment of DNA are sequentially identified from signals emitted as each fragment is re-synthesized from a ...