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Pathogens 2018, 7(1), 18; doi:10.3390/pathogens7010018

The Listeria monocytogenes Key Virulence Determinants hly and prfA are involved in Biofilm Formation and Aggregation but not Colonization of Fresh Produce

Department of Food, Bioprocessing and Nutrition Sciences, North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC 27604, USA
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Received: 21 December 2017 / Revised: 22 January 2018 / Accepted: 27 January 2018 / Published: 1 February 2018
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Listeria monocytogenes and Its Interactions with the Host)
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Listeria monocytogenes has been extensively studied as a model facultative intracellular pathogen. While the roles of major virulence factors in host-pathogen interactions have been extensively characterized, recent work suggests that some of these factors can also contribute to environmental proliferation of this pathogen. In this study, we characterized two non-hemolytic transposon mutants of strain 2011L-2858 (serotype 1/2b), implicated in the 2011 listeriosis outbreak via whole cantaloupe, for their capacity to form biofilms on polystyrene, aggregate, and colonize cantaloupe rind. One mutant harbored a single mariner-based transposon insertion in hly, encoding the hemolysin Listeriolysin O, while the other harbored a single insertion in prfA, encoding PrfA, a master regulator for hly and numerous other virulence genes. Biofilm formation was significantly reduced in the prfA mutant, and to a lesser extent, in the hly mutant. Inactivation of either hly or prfA significantly reduced L. monocytogenes aggregation. However, both mutants adhered similarly to the wildtype parental strain on cantaloupe rind at either 25 or 37°C. Furthermore, growth and competitive fitness of the mutants on cantaloupe rind was not significantly impacted at either temperature. The findings suggest that, in spite of their involvement in biofilm formation and aggregation, these key virulence determinants may not be required for the ability of L. monocytogenes to colonize fresh produce. View Full-Text
Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; biofilm; aggregation; produce Listeria monocytogenes; biofilm; aggregation; produce

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This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited. (CC BY 4.0).

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Price, R.; Jayeola, V.; Niedermeyer, J.; Parsons, C.; Kathariou, S. The Listeria monocytogenes Key Virulence Determinants hly and prfA are involved in Biofilm Formation and Aggregation but not Colonization of Fresh Produce. Pathogens 2018, 7, 18.

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