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Open AccessArticle

Occurrence, Diversity of Listeria spp. Isolates from Food and Food-Contact Surfaces and the Presence of Virulence Genes

1
Istituto Zooprofilattico Sperimentale dell’Abruzzo e Molise (IZSAM), Teramo, Diagnostic Laboratory, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
2
Dipartimento di Medicina e Scienze della Salute “V. Tiberio”, Università degli Studi del Molise, 86100 Campobasso, Italy
3
Dipartimento di Medicina Animale, Produzioni e Salute, Università degli Studi di Padova, Viale dell’Università, 16, 35020 Legnaro, Italy
*
Author to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(2), 294; https://doi.org/10.3390/microorganisms8020294
Received: 27 January 2020 / Revised: 16 February 2020 / Accepted: 18 February 2020 / Published: 20 February 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission and Detection of Food and Environmental Pathogens)
This study evaluates the hazards posed by foodborne bacteria of the Listeria genus by analyzing the occurrence, diversity and virulence of Listeria spp.in food and food-manufacturing plants. Seventy-five isolates obtained from the routine analysis of 653 samples taken by three diagnostic laboratories in Northern Italy were genotypically differentiated by Repetitive Extragenic Palindrome (rep) PCR, with the GTG5 primer identified by sequencing the 16S rRNA gene and examined by specific PCR tests for the presence of L. monocytogenes virulence determinants occasionally found to occur in other species of the genus. Within this sample, 76% (n = 57) isolates were identified as L. innocua, 16% (n = 12) as L. monocytogenes, 6.6% (n = 5) as L. welshimeri and 1.3% (n = 1) as L. seeligeri. All L. monocytogenes isolates belonged to the serotype 1/2a and were predicted to be virulent for the presence of the inlJ internalin gene. Potentially virulent strains of L. innocua, L. seeligeri and L. welshimeri, carrying the L. monocytogenesinlA gene and/or hly gene, were identified, and most isolates were found to possess the toxin–antitoxin system mazEF for efficient adaptation to heat shock. Results indicated the need to reinforce food-contamination-prevention measures against all Listeria species by defining efficiently their environmental distribution. View Full-Text
Keywords: Listeria spp.; food; food-contact surfaces; genotyping; virulence genes; toxin–antitoxin system mazEF Listeria spp.; food; food-contact surfaces; genotyping; virulence genes; toxin–antitoxin system mazEF
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Rossi, F.; Amadoro, C.; Conficoni, D.; Giaccone, V.; Colavita, G. Occurrence, Diversity of Listeria spp. Isolates from Food and Food-Contact Surfaces and the Presence of Virulence Genes. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 294.

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