Skip to main content

Molecular and Phenotypic Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes from U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service Surveillance of Ready-to-Eat Foods and Processing Facilities

Buy Article:

$37.00 plus tax (Refund Policy)


A panel of 501 Listeria monocytogenes isolates obtained from the U.S. Department of Agriculture Food Safety and Inspection Service monitoring programs for ready-to-eat (RTE) foods were subtyped by multilocus genotyping (MLGT) and by sequencing the virulence gene inlA, which codes for internalin. MLGT analyses confirmed that clonal lineages associated with previous epidemic outbreaks were rare (7.6%) contaminants of RTE meat and poultry products and their production environments. Conversely, sequence analyses revealed mutations leading to 11 different premature stop codons (PMSCs) in inlA, including three novel PMSC mutations, and revealed that the frequency of these virulence-attenuating mutations among RTE isolates (48.5%) was substantially higher than previously appreciated. Significant differences (P < 0.001) in the frequency of inlA PMSCs were observed between lineages and between major serogroups, which could partially explain differences in association of these subtypes with human listeriosis. Interrogation of single-nucleotide polymorphisms responsible for PMSCs in inlA improved strain resolution among isolates with the 10 most common pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) patterns, 8 of which included isolates with a PMSC in inlA. The presence or absence of PMSCs in inlA accounted for significant differences (P < 0.05) in Caco-2 invasion efficiencies among isolates with identical PFGE patterns, and the proportion of PulseNet entries from clinical sources was significantly higher (P < 0.001) for PFGE patterns exclusively from isolates with full-length inlA. These results indicated that integration of PFGE and DNA sequence–based subtyping provides an improved framework for prediction of relative risk associated with L. monocytogenes strains from RTE foods.

Document Type: Research Article

Affiliations: 1: Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Peoria, Illinois 61604, USA. 2: Microbiology Division, Office of Public Health Science, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Food Safety and Inspection Service, Washington, D.C. 20250 3: Department of Food Science, Cornell University, Ithaca, New York 14853 4: Bacterial Foodborne Pathogens and Mycology Research Unit, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Agricultural Research Service, Peoria, Illinois 61604 5: Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, Atlanta, Georgia 30333, USA

Publication date: May 1, 2010

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