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J Appl Microbiol. 2000 Mar;88(3):430-41.

Improvement of the detection of Listeria monocytogenes by the application of ALOA, a diagnostic, chromogenic isolation medium.

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Agricultural Research Centre, Gent-Department Quality of Animal Products, Melle, Belgium, Agence Française de Sécurité Sanitaire des Aliments, Laboratoire Central d'Hygiène Alimentaire, Paris, France.


A new selective agar medium, ALOA, for the selective and differential isolation of Listeria monocytogenes has been evaluated. All stressed cultures of L. monocytogenes serovars tested grew on the medium as bluish colonies surrounded by a distinctive opaque halo and gave a productivity ratio of at least 0.95. Non-pathogenic Listeria sp. produced bluish colonies without a halo as was also the case for some enterococci and bacilli. Special attention must be paid to some Bacillus cereus strains and L. ivanovii since their colony appearance can be misleading. Only some unidentified listeria-like bacteria gave false-positive results. ALOA detected 4. 3% more positives from naturally contaminated dairy and meat samples compared with the ISO procedure when used with GenprobeTM or VidasTM for confirmation of presumptive colonies; 13.9% false negatives were found compared with 38.9% using PALCAM/Oxford. ALOA was also clearly superior to Oxford and PALCAM when samples containing both L. monocytogenes and L. innocua were examined. The introduction of ALOA in standard isolation procedures as an additional medium would enhance the detection ratio and reduce the time and cost of analysis for L. monocytogenes.

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