Main content area

Food isolate Listeria monocytogenes harboring tetM gene plasmid-mediated exchangeable to Enterococcus faecalis on the surface of processed cheese

Haubert, Louise, Cunha, Carlos Eduardo Pouey da, Lopes, Graciela Völz, Silva, Wladimir Padilha da
Food research international 2018 v.107 pp. 503-508
Enterococcus faecalis, Listeria monocytogenes, agar, antibiotic resistance, bacteria, databases, food matrix, horizontal gene transfer, minimum inhibitory concentration, plasmids, polymerase chain reaction, processed cheeses, resistance genes, rifampicin, risk, tetracycline
The genetic basis of tetracycline resistance in a food isolate Listeria monocytogenes (Lm16) was evaluated. Resistance to tetracycline was associated with the presence of the tetM gene in plasmid DNA. The sequence of tetM showed 100% of similarity with the Enterococcus faecalis sequences found in the EMBL database, suggesting that Lm16 received this gene from E. faecalis. Various size bands were detected in the DNA plasmid analysis, the largest being approximately 54.38 kb. Transferability of the tetM gene was achieved in vitro by agar matings between Lm16 and E. faecalis JH2-2, proving the potential for the spread of tetM by horizontal gene transfer. Furthermore, the conjugation experiments were performed on the surface of processed cheese, confirming the transferability in a food matrix. PCR assays were used to confirm the identity of E. faecalis and to detect the tetM gene in transconjugant bacteria. Additionally, the minimal inhibitory concentration for tetracycline and rifampicin and plasmid profiling were performed. This is the first report of a food isolate L. monocytogenes carrying the tetM gene in plasmid DNA, and it highlights the potential risk of spreading antimicrobial resistance genes between different bacteria.