Skip to main content

A Processing Plant Persistent Strain of Listeria monocytogenes Crosses the Fetoplacental Barrier in a Pregnant Guinea Pig Model

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes can cause infection in immunocompromised humans and in the fetuses of pregnant women. We have demonstrated that one group of genetically similar L. monocytogenes strains (random amplified polymorphic DNA [RAPD] type 9) dominate and persist in several independent fish processing plants. The purpose of the present study was to determine the virulence potential of one RAPD type 9 strain (La111), one human clinical strain (Scott A), and one monkey clinical strain (12443) in a pregnant guinea pig model. Animals were orally exposed to 108 CFU of L. monocytogenes in whipping cream on gestation day (GD) 36 and euthanized on GD 42, 45, or 56. Strains 12443 and Scott A were shed from treated animals for 20 days, whereas La111 was shed only in the first 10 days. Strains 12443 and Scott A were recovered from maternal liver, spleen, and gallbladder on all 3 days of euthanization, whereas La111 was recovered only at GD 45 and 56. Scott A was not isolated from any placentas or fetuses. For dams treated with 12443, 22% of the fetuses were positive for L. monocytogenes, and surprisingly, treatment of dams with La111 resulted in 56% infected fetuses. L. monocytogenes was isolated from 16 and 20% of placentas for 12443 and La111, respectively. The study demonstrates that a food processing plant persistent strain of L. monocytogenes is able to cross the fetoplacental barrier in pregnant guinea pigs. Furthermore, we demonstrate that although information can be gained from model virulence assays, assessment of the virulence potential of a strain may require more complex hosts.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Department of Seafood Research, National Institute of Aquatic Resources, Technical University of Denmark, Søltofts Plads Building 221, DK-2800 Kgs. Lyngby, Denmark 2: Department of Environmental Health Science and Center for Food Safety, University of Georgia, 206 Environmental Health Science Building, Athens, Georgia 30602, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2008

More about this publication?
  • IAFP Members with personal subscriptions to JFP Online: To access full-text JFP or JMFT articles, you must sign-in in the upper-right corner using your Ingenta sign-in details (your IAFP Member Login does not apply to this website).

    The Journal of Food Protection (JFP) is a refereed monthly publication. Each issue contains scientific research and authoritative review articles reporting on a variety of topics in food science pertaining to food safety and quality. The Journal is internationally recognized as the leading publication in the field of food microbiology with a readership exceeding 11,000 scientists from 70 countries. The Journal of Food Protection is indexed in Index Medicus, Current Contents, BIOSIS, PubMed, Medline, and many others.

    Print and online subscriptions are available to IAFP Members and institutional subscribers. IAFP Members with a subscription to JFP Online will have access to all available JFP and JMFT content. Online visitors who are not IAFP Members or journal subscribers will be charged on a pay-per-view basis. Membership and subscription information is available at
  • Information for Authors
  • Submit a Paper
  • Subscribe to this Title
  • Membership Information
  • Information for Advertisers
  • Ingenta Connect is not responsible for the content or availability of external websites

Access Key

Free Content
Free content
New Content
New content
Open Access Content
Open access content
Subscribed Content
Subscribed content
Free Trial Content
Free trial content
Cookie Policy
Cookie Policy
Ingenta Connect website makes use of cookies so as to keep track of data that you have filled in. I am Happy with this Find out more