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Isolation and characterization of Listeria monocytogenes in Chinese food obtained from the central area of China

Du, Xin-jun, Zhang, Xiang, Wang, Xiao-yi, Su, Yu-lan, Li, Ping, Wang, Shuo
Food control 2017 v.74 pp. 9-16
Listeria monocytogenes, antibiotic resistance, cefoxitin, ciprofloxacin, cities, doxycycline, genes, listeriosis, meat, multilocus sequence typing, pathogens, polymerase chain reaction, raw meat, risk assessment, supermarkets, vegetables, virulence, China
The objective of this study was to investigate the prevalence and characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from Chinese food, including frozen dumplings, flavored raw meat, roasted meat, braised meat, and a cold vegetable dish with sauce. A total of 900 food samples were collected from supermarkets, open-air markets, and delicatessens in three large cities in the central area of China to examine the presence of L. monocytogenes; 21 (2.3%) of the samples were positive for this pathogen. Among the different samples, braised meat showed the highest L. monocytogenes detection rate (4.4%). Samples obtained from delicatessens showed a much higher L. monocytogenes contamination rate (8.3%) than those from open-air markets (6.7%) or supermarkets (0%). Multilocus sequence typing (MLST) analysis indicated that the 21 bacterial isolates belonged to 12 ST subgroups. ST5 was the largest and contained 7 isolates (33.3%); it was followed by ST474, ST121 and ST9 (each containing 2 isolates [10.5%]). Antibiotic susceptibility analysis showed that the 21 L. monocytogenes isolates were thoroughly resistant to cefoxitin but highly susceptible to doxycycline and ciprofloxacin. The presence of 10 virulence genes was evaluated by PCR, which showed that inlA, inlC, inlJ, prfA, hlyA, and plcB were present in all isolates and that inlB, actA, plcA and iap were present in 71.4–90.5% of the isolates. This study provides a useful reference for risk assessment and control of L. monocytogenes contamination in Chinese food and for the treatment of clinical listeriosis.