Title: Genetic determinants for cadmium and arsenic resistance among listeria monocytogenes serotype 4b from sporadic human listeriosis
Authors: Lee S, Rakic-Martinez M, Graves LM, Ward TJ, Siletzky RM, Kathariou S
Journal: Appl Environ Microbiol
Accepted date: 2013 Jan 10
Interpretive summary: Listeria monocytogenes is a food-borne bacterium that places a serious burden on human health and the agricultural economy. However, not all L. monocytogenes strains are equally likely to persist in food environments. In this study, we characterized the genes for heavy metal resistance among a panel of L. monocytogenes from foods and processing plant environments. We identified an unexpected connection between heavy metal resistance genes and particular groups of L. monocytogenes strains responsible for sporadic human listeriosis infections. We also describe novel genetic factors contributing to heavy metal resistance and our findings indicate that strains associated with human listeriosis in the United States possess a complex array of heavy metal resistance genes. These data provide new information about the genes used by L. monocytogenes to persist in different environments and will be of direct interest to epidemiologists, public health and food inspection agencies, and scientists involved in food safety research.
Publication date: 2013 Apr