Colonisation dynamics of Listeria monocytogenes strains isolated from food production environments

Jessica Gray*, P. Scott Chandry, Mandeep Kaur, Chawalit Kocharunchitt, Séamus Fanning, John P. Bowman, Edward M. Fox*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous bacterium capable of colonising and persisting within food production environments (FPEs) for many years, even decades. This ability to colonise, survive and persist within the FPEs can result in food product cross-contamination, including vulnerable products such as ready to eat food items. Various environmental and genetic elements are purported to be involved, with the ability to form biofilms being an important factor. In this study we examined various mechanisms which can influence colonisation in FPEs. The ability of isolates (n = 52) to attach and grow in biofilm was assessed, distinguishing slower biofilm formers from isolates forming biofilm more rapidly. These isolates were further assessed to determine if growth rate, exopolymeric substance production and/or the agr signalling propeptide influenced these dynamics and could promote persistence in conditions reflective of FPE. Despite no strong association with the above factors to a rapid colonisation phenotype, the global transcriptome suggested transport, energy production and metabolism genes were widely upregulated during the initial colonisation stages under nutrient limited conditions. However, the upregulation of the metabolism systems varied between isolates supporting the idea that L. monocytogenes ability to colonise the FPEs is strain-specific.
Original languageEnglish
Article number12195
Pages (from-to)1-17
Number of pages17
JournalScientific Reports
Volume11
Issue number1
Early online date9 Jun 2021
DOIs
Publication statusE-pub ahead of print - 9 Jun 2021

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