The biofilm formation ability of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from meat, poultry, fish and processing plant environments is related to serotype and pathogenic profile of the strains

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Domenico Meloni *
Roberta Mazza
Francesca Piras
Sonia Lamon
Simonetta Gianna Consolati
Anna Mureddu
Rina Mazzette
(*) Corresponding Author:
Domenico Meloni |


In the present study, the relationships between serotype, pathogenic profile and in vitro biofilm formation of 106 Listeria monocytogenes strains, having no epidemiological correlation and isolated from different environmental and food sources, were analyzed. The quantitative assessment of the in vitro biofilm formation was carried out by using a microtiter plate assay with spectrophotometric reading (OD620). The isolates were also submitted to serogrouping using the target genes lmo0737, lmo1118, ORF2819, ORF2110, prs, and to the evaluation of the presence of the following virulence genes: prfA, hlyA, rrn, inlA, inlB, iap, plcA, plcB, actA and mpl, by multiplex PCRs. The 62% of the strains showed weak or moderate in vitro ability in biofilm formation, in particular serotypes 1/2b and 4b, frequently associated with sporadic or epidemic listeriosis cases. The 25% of these isolates showed polymorphism for the actA gene, producing a fragment of 268-bp instead of the expected 385-bp. The deletion of nucleotides in this gene seems to be related to enhanced virulence properties among these strains. Strains belonging to serotypes associated with human infections and characterized by pathogenic potential are capable to persist within the processing plants forming biofilm.

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