A multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA) of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from Norwegian salmon-processing factories and from listeriosis patients

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The objective of this study was to characterize Listeria monocytogenes isolated from farmed Atlantic salmon (Salmo salar) and the processing environment in three different Norwegian factories, and compare these to clinical isolates by multiple-locus variable-number tandem repeat analysis (MLVA). The 65 L. monocytogenes isolates obtained gave 15 distinct MLVA profiles. There was great heterogeneity in the distribution of MLVA profiles in factories and within each factory. Nine of the 15 MLVA profiles found in the fish-associated isolates were found to match human profiles. The MLVA profile 07-07-09-10-06 was the most common strain in Norwegian listeriosis patients. L. monocytogenes with this profile has previously been associated with at least two known listeriosis outbreaks in Norway, neither determined to be due to fish consumption. However, since this profile was also found in fish and in the processing environment, fish should be considered as a possible food vehicle during sporadic cases and outbreaks of listeriosis.

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