Listeria monocytogenes is a highly fatal foodborne causative agent that has been implicated in numerous outbreaks and related deaths of listeriosis in the world. In this study, six L. monocytogenes isolated from ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products were analysed using Whole Genome Sequencing (WGS) to identify virulence and resistance genes, prophage sequences, PCR-serogroups, and sequence types (STs). The WGS identified four different STs (ST1, ST121, ST204, and ST876) that belonged to serogroup 4b (lineage I) and 1/2a (lineage II). Core genome, and average nucleotide identity (ANI) phylogenetic analyses showed that the majority of strains from serogroup 4b (lineage I) clustered together. However, two isolates that belong to serogroup 1/2a (lineage II) grouped far from each other and the other strains. Examination of reference-guided scaffolds for the presence of prophages using the PHAge Search Tool Enhanced Release (PHASTER) software identified 24 diverse prophages, which were either intact or incomplete/questionable. The National Center for Biotechnology Information- Nucleotide Basic Local Alignment Search Tool (NCBI-BLASTn) revealed that Listeria monocytogenes strains in this study shared some known major virulence genes that are encoded in Listeria pathogenicity islands 1 and 3. In general, the resistance profiles for all the isolates were similar and encoded for multidrug, heavy metal, antibiotic, and sanitizer resistance genes. All the isolates in this study possessed genes that code for resistance to common food processing antiseptics such as Benzalkonium chloride.
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