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Listeria monocytogenes – Danger for health safety vegetable production

Kljujev, Igor, Raicevic, Vera, Jovicic-Petrovic, Jelena, Vujovic, Bojana, Mirkovic, Milica, Rothballer, Michael
Microbial pathogenesis 2018 v.120 pp. 23-31
Listeria monocytogenes, animal pathogens, bacteria, carrots, celery, confocal laser scanning microscopy, endophytes, fluorescence in situ hybridization, food contamination, greenhouses, heat treatment, intercellular spaces, irrigation, larvae, lettuce, polluted soils, polymerase chain reaction, raw vegetables, risk, root hairs, spinach, sweetcorn, vegetable growing
The microbiologically contaminated vegetables represent a risk for consumers, especially vegetables without thermal processing. It is known that human pathogen bacteria, such as Listeria monocytogenes, could exist on fresh vegetables. The fresh vegetables could become Listeria-contaminated if they come in touch with contaminated soil, manure, irrigation water.The aim of this work was to investigate the presence of Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes in different kind of vegetables grown in field and greenhouse condition as well as surface and endophytic colonization plant roots of different vegetables species by L. monocytogenes in laboratory conditions.The detection of Listeria spp. and L. monocytogenes in vegetable samples was done using ISO and PCR methods. The investigation of colonization vegetable roots and detection Listeria-cells inside plant root tissue was done using Fluorescence in situ hybridization (FISH) method in combination with confocal laser scanning microscopy (CLSM).The results showed that 25.58% vegetable samples were positive for Listeria spp. and only one sample (carrot) was positive for L. monocytogenes out of 43 samples in total collected from field and greenhouse. The strain L. monocytogenes EGD-E surface and endophytic colonized carrot root in highest degree while strain L. monocytogenes SV4B was the most represented at leafy vegetable plants, such at lettuce (1.68 × 106 cells/mm3 absolutely dry root) and spinach (1.39 × 106 cells/mm3 absolutely dry root) root surface.The cells of L. monocytogenes SV4B were visible as single cells in interior tissue of plant roots (celery and sweet corn roots) as well as in the interior of the plant root cell at sweet corn root. The cells of L. monocytogenes EGD-E bind to the surface of the plant root and they were less commonly found out on root hair. In the inner layers of the root, those bacterial cells were inhabited intercellular spaces mainly as single cells very close to the larval vessels of root. Our results suggest that L. monocytogenes is very good endophytic colonizer of vegetable plant roots.