Genetic diversity, virulence potential and antimicrobial susceptibility ofListeria monocytogenesrecovered from different sources in India

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Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes isolates (n = 36) recovered from human and animal clinical cases and foods from different geographical regions of India were characterized using multiplex PCR-based serotyping, pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), in vitro and in vivo pathogenicity tests and antibiogram profiling. Multiplex PCR-based serotyping distributed L. monocytogenes isolates into 3 serogroups, of which 91.67% belonged to 4b, 4d, 4e serogroup, followed by 5.56% to 1/2a, 3a and 2.78% to 1/2b, 3b serogroups. PFGE analysis using ApaI and AscI restriction enzymes revealed 17 pulsotypes among 36 L. monocytogenes isolates with 6 major clusters having similar fingerprint profile within their cluster and 11 unique fingerprint profiles. Interestingly, PFGE analysis inferred that foods of animal origin could be a significant source of infection for spread of listeriosis among human populations. Furthermore, on comparison of in vitro and in vivo pathogenicity tests, an overall good correlation was observed between hemolytic titer assay and chick embryo inoculation test as most of the isolates with a hemolytic titer of ≥16 were found to be lethal to chick embryo. All the isolates were found to be susceptible to tested antimicrobials except for one animal isolate which showed resistance towards co-trimoxazole.

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