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Prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes Subtypes in Bulk Milk of the Pacific Northwest

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The prevalence of Listeria monocytogenes in bulk milk from three Pacific Northwest states was assessed for 474 herds at three time points. For samples collected in November 2000 and June 2001, the L. monocytogenes prevalence levels were 4.9 and 7.0%, respectively. All isolates were subtyped by serotyping and by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Forty-nine of the 55 isolates belonged to serogroup 1/2a, while 6 belonged to serogroup 4. Subtyping by PFGE revealed that isolates from 31 herds shared 10 patterns; there was a weak but significant association between PFGE subtype and geographical distance. Six herds were positive for L. monocytogenes at both time points. Of these six herds, four had indistinguishable PFGE patterns at both time points. Twenty-five of the 33 herds that were positive in June 2001 were sampled again in June 2002. L. monocytogenes was recovered from 17 of these 25 herds (68%), with the Apa I restriction enzyme digestion profiles (REDP) for 8 herds being identical to those of isolates recovered from these herds the previous year. The ApaI REDP for the bulk milk isolates were compared with those for isolates recovered from environmental and human samples that were collected by the Washington Department of Health (n = 23). Analysis of ApaI digestion profiles revealed that only two of the Washington Department of Health isolates had digestion profiles similar to those for isolates from bulk milk; however, further analysis with the use of a second enzyme (AscI) was capable of discriminating between isolates from the two sources. Thus, we found no direct REDP matches between bulk milk and clinical isolates.


Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-7040, USA 2: Field Disease Investigation Unit, Department of Veterinary Clinical Science, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-6610, USA 3: Department of Veterinary Microbiology and Pathology, Washington State University, Pullman, Washington 99164-7040 & Animal Disease Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Pullman, Washington 99164-6630, USA

Publication date: August 1, 2003

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