Comparison of Listeria monocytogenes isolates across the island of Ireland

Daniel Hurley, Laura Luque-Sastre, Niall deLappe, John Moore, Martin Cormican, Kieran Jordan, Seamus Fanning, Edward Fox

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

3 Citations (Scopus)


Building a comprehensive knowledge base of the association of Listeria monocytogenes isolates across national food chains, clinical cases, and environments can play a key role in helping control the incidence of listeriosis. Today, many food chains cross national borders and are often shared by neighboring countries. This study characterized L. monocytogenes isolated from food samples in Northern Ireland and investigated whether similarities in the population and associations of L. monocytogenes strains exist in the neighboring countries of Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland, which together constitute the island of Ireland. Listeria monocytogenes isolates were characterized using serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtyping. This data was then interrogated against existing data for the Republic of Ireland, to identify any shared trends in the ecology and contamination patterns of L. monocytogenes strains. The results of this study indicated that contaminated food products often shared L. monocytogenes strains with other products. A total of six different strain subtypes were identified among 18 contaminated products. Overall strain diversity in positive samples was low, with no sample yielding more than one L. monocytogenes strain, as determined by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis subtyping. When comparisons against an Irish strain database were performed, many related strain subtypes were also shared by a variety of sources in the Republic of Ireland. This study highlights the potential benefits that a whole-island surveillance approach may present to food safety and public health in both Northern Ireland and the Republic of Ireland.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)1402-1406
JournalJournal of Food Protection
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2014


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