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Appl Environ Microbiol. 1995 Dec; 61(12): 4310–4314.
PMCID: PMC167742

Differentiation of epidemic-associated strains of Listeria monocytogenes by restriction fragment length polymorphism in a gene region essential for growth at low temperatures (4 degrees C).


The growth of Listeria monocytogenes in food stored in the cold has often been implicated in outbreaks of listeriosis. Many subtyping schemes have suggested that epidemic-associated strains belong to a unique genetic group. It has not yet been possible, however, to identify molecular or bacteriologic markers unique to epidemic-associated strains. Recently we cloned three genes of L. monocytogenes, ltrA, ltrB, and ltrC, which are essential for growth at low temperatures (4 degrees C). The use of a 1.2-kb PstI fragment derived from ltrB as a probe in Southern blots of HindIII-digested DNA revealed three hybridization patterns: the first (a 5.0-kb band) was observed in strains of serotypes 4b, 1/2b, and 3b; the second (a 3.1-kb band) was seen in strains of serotypes 1/2a, 3a, 1/2c, and 3c; and the third (a 9.5-kb band) was characteristic of epidemic-associated serotype 4b strains. These and other data suggest that probes derived from this gene region that is essential for growth at low temperatures can be useful molecular tools for the subtyping of strains implicated in food-borne listeriosis.

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Selected References

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