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Variable Adhesion of Listeria monocytogenes Isolates from Food-Processing Facilities and Clinical Cases to Inert Surfaces

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One hundred one strains of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from seafood and cheese industry samples and from patients with listeriosis were assessed using a microtiter plate method for adhesion to polystyrene and stainless steel surfaces. The adhesion rate for these strains ranged from 3.10 to 35.29% with an inoculum of 8 × 108 cells per well. A strong correlation was found between adhesion to polystyrene and stainless steel microtiter plates, indicating that the intrinsic ability of L. monocytogenes to adhere to inert surfaces is stronger than the influence of the surface's physicochemical properties. The clinical strains were less adherent to inert surfaces than were the industrial strains. By integrating other factors such as location of the industrial strains, contamination type of the clinical strains, serotype, and pulsotype into the analysis, some weak but significant differences were noted. For the industrial isolates, the number of cells attached to both surfaces differed significantly depending on whether they were isolated from food or food-processing environments in the seafood and cheese industry. For clinical isolates, sporadic strains exhibited greater adhesion to polystyrene than did epidemic strains. Strains belonging to the pulsed-field gel electrophoretype clusters A and M (lineages II and I, respectively) were less able to adhere to polystyrene and stainless steel than were strains in the more common clusters.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Institut National de la Recherche Agronomique UR638, 396 rue J. Guesde, B.P. 20039, F-59651 Villeneuve d'Ascq Cedex, France 2: Institut Pasteur de Lille, 1 rue du Prof. Calmette, B.P. 245, F-59019 Lille Cedex, France 3: Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Rue Huret Lagache, F-62200 Boulogne-sur-Mer, France

Publication date: July 1, 2007

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