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Virulence of Listeria monocytogenes Isolates from Humans and Smoked Salmon, Peeled Shrimp, and Their Processing Environments

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The virulence of 82 Listeria monocytogenes isolates from human cases and cold-smoked salmon, cooked peeled shrimp, and their production environments was assessed using the plaque-forming assay and a subcutaneous inoculation test in mice. These isolates were previously typed using serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. The isolates from food-production environments were collected in several surveys over the period of 5 years. Sixty-eight (99.8%) of 69 isolates tested from food and food-processing environments were considered virulent while only one was avirulent. All clinical isolates (13) were highly virulent. The isolates were from raw materials, final products, and the production environment. This stresses the importance of hygiene in the processing environment as well as among personnel to avoid contamination of the final product.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Icelandic Fisheries Laboratories, 101 Reykjavik, Iceland 2: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique, Infectiologie Animale et Santé Publique, 37380 Nouzilly, France 3: Landspítali University Hospital, Department of Clinical Microbiology, Hringbraut, 101 Reykjavík, Iceland 4: Landspítali University Hospital, Department of Internal Medicine, Division of Infectious Diseases, Fossvogur, 108 Reykjavik, Iceland

Publication date: September 1, 2006

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