Cellular morphology of rough forms of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from clinical and food samples

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Transmission electron microscopy (TEM) studies revealed that rough cell-forms of L. monocytogenes (designated FR variants), isolated from clinical and food samples (and under conditions of sublethal heat stress), consist of either single or paired long-filaments. These FR variants markedly contrast in cell morphology from other previously described avirulent rough-mutants of L. monocytogenes that form long chains consisting of multiple cells of similar size (designated MCR variants). The identity of these Listeria isolates was determined using a commercially available, anti-Listeria polyclonal KPL antibody and by the API Listeria biochemical gallery. This study shows that filamentous rough-forms of L. monocytogenes may occur in clinical and food samples that are of undetermined pathogenicity.

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