Research – Comparison of Selected Phenotypic Features of Persistent and Sporadic Strains of Listeria monocytogenes Sampled from Fish Processing Plants

MDPI

(1) Background: The main source of transmission of Listeria monocytogenes is contaminated food, e.g., fish and meat products and raw fruit and vegetables. The bacteria can remain for 13 years on machines in food processing plants, including fish plants.

(2) Methods: A total of 720 swabs were collected from a salmon filleting line. The research material consisted of 62 (8.6%) L. monocytogenes isolates. Pulsed Field Gel Electrophoresis (PFGE) allowed detecting a pool of persistent strains. All persistent strains (n = 6) and a parallel group of strains collected sporadically (n = 6) were characterized by their ability to invade HT-29 cells, biofilm formation ability, and minimum bactericidal concentrations (MBC) of selected disinfectants.

(3) Results: Among the obtained isolates, 38 genetically different strains were found, including 6 (15.8%) persistent strains. The serogroup 1/2a-3a represented 28 strains (73.7%), including the persistent ones. There were no significant differences in invasiveness between the persistent and sporadic strains. The persistent strains tolerated higher concentrations of the tested disinfectants, except for iodine-based compounds. The persistent strains initiated the biofilm formation process faster and formed it more intensively.

(4) Conclusions: The presence of persistent strains in the food processing environment is a great challenge for producers to ensure consumer safety. This study attempts to elucidate the phenotypic characteristics of persistent L. monocytogenes strains. View Full-Text

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