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Cross-resistance to phage infection in Listeria monocytogenes serotype 1/2a mutants

Trudelle, Danielle M., Bryan, Daniel W., Hudson, Lauren K., Denes, Thomas G.
Food microbiology 2019 v.84 pp. 103239
Listeria monocytogenes, bacteriophages, biological control, cross resistance, food processing, mutants, mutation, rhamnose, serotypes, teichoic acids
Bacteriophage-based biocontrols are one of several tools available to control Listeria monocytogenes in food and food processing environments. The objective of this study was to determine if phage-resistance that has been characterized with a select few Listeria phages would also confer resistance to a diverse collection of over 100 other Listeria phages. We show that some mutations that are likely to emerge in bacteriophage-treated populations of serotype 1/2a L. monocytogenes can lead to cross-resistance against almost all types of characterized Listeria phages. Out of the 120 phages that showed activity against the parental strain, only one could form visible plaques on the mutant strain of L. monocytogenes lacking rhamnose in its wall teichoic acids. An additional two phages showed signs of lytic activity against this mutant strain; although no visible plaques were observed. The findings presented here are consistent with other studies showing mutations conferring phage resistance through loss of rhamnose likely pose the greatest challenge for phage-based biocontrol in serotype 1/2a strains.