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

The Response to Oxidative Stress in Listeria monocytogenes Is Temperature Dependent

Department of Biotechnology and Food Science, Faculty of Sciences, University of Burgos, 09001 Burgos, Spain
Institute of Milk Hygiene, Milk Technology and Food Science, Department for Farm Animals and Veterinary Public Health, University of Veterinary Medicine, A-1210 Vienna, Austria
Christian Doppler Laboratory for Molecular Food Analytics, University of Veterinary Medicine, A-1210 Vienna, Austria
Authors to whom correspondence should be addressed.
Microorganisms 2020, 8(4), 521;
Received: 14 February 2020 / Revised: 30 March 2020 / Accepted: 3 April 2020 / Published: 5 April 2020
(This article belongs to the Special Issue Transmission and Detection of Food and Environmental Pathogens)
The stress response of 11 strains of Listeria monocytogenes to oxidative stress was studied. The strains included ST1, ST5, ST7, ST6, ST9, ST87, ST199 and ST321 and were isolated from diverse food processing environments (a meat factory, a dairy plant and a seafood company) and sample types (floor, wall, drain, boxes, food products and water machine). Isolates were exposed to two oxidizing agents: 13.8 mM cumene hydroperoxide (CHP) and 100 mM hydrogen peroxide (H2O2) at 10 °C and 37 °C. Temperature affected the oxidative stress response as cells treated at 10 °C survived better than those treated at 37 °C. H2O2 at 37 °C was the condition tested resulting in poorest L. monocytogenes survival. Strains belonging to STs of Lineage I (ST5, ST6, ST87, ST1) were more resistant to oxidative stress than those of Lineage II (ST7, ST9, ST199 and ST321), with the exception of ST7 that showed tolerance to H2O2 at 10 °C. Isolates of each ST5 and ST9 from different food industry origins showed differences in oxidative stress response. The gene expression of two relevant virulence (hly) and stress (clpC) genes was studied in representative isolates in the stressful conditions. hly and clpC were upregulated during oxidative stress at low temperature. Our results indicate that conditions prevalent in food industries may allow L. monocytogenes to develop survival strategies: these include activating molecular mechanisms based on cross protection that can promote virulence, possibly increasing the risk of virulent strains persisting in food processing plants. View Full-Text
Keywords: pathogen; virulence; survival; food industry; oxidizing agents; gene expression pathogen; virulence; survival; food industry; oxidizing agents; gene expression
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Manso, B.; Melero, B.; Stessl, B.; Jaime, I.; Wagner, M.; Rovira, J.; Rodríguez-Lázaro, D. The Response to Oxidative Stress in Listeria monocytogenes Is Temperature Dependent. Microorganisms 2020, 8, 521.

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