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Characterization of Listeria monocytogenes strains involved in invasive and noninvasive listeriosis outbreaks by PCR-based fingerprinting techniques

Franciosa, G., Tartaro, S., Wedell-Neergaard, C., Aureli, P.
Applied and environmental microbiology 2001 v.67 no.4 pp. 1793-1799
Listeria monocytogenes, polymerase chain reaction, DNA fingerprinting, strains, isolation, foodborne illness, listeriosis, food contamination, microbial contamination
A total of 32 Listeria monocytogenes strains (16 from a recent outbreak of invasive listeriosis and 16 from two outbreaks of noninvasive listeriosis, all three occurring in Italy) were characterized by PCR-ribotyping, arbitrarily primed PCR (AP-PCR), and the recently developed infrequent-restriction-site PCR (IRS-PCR). The discriminatory ability of the techniques, first evaluated on 29 unrelated L. monocytogenes food isolates using Simpson's index of diversity, was 0.714 for PCR-ribotyping, 0.690 for AP-PCR, and 0.919 for IRS-PCR. IRS-PCR was also more capable of distinguishing among strains from the invasive listeriosis outbreak: three different clusters were identified by IRS-PCR compared to two clusters identified by both PCR-ribotyping and AP-PCR. Within each of the two outbreaks of noninvasive listeriosis, the patterns were practically identical, as demonstrated by all three techniques. Only IRS-PCR succeeded in clearly discriminating the strains related to noninvasive listeriosis from all of the other strains included in this study, including those from the outbreak of invasive listeriosis. This finding may suggest the presence of unique differences in their DNA sequences.