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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2006 Spring;3(1):138-41.

A comparison of Listeria monocytogenes serovar 4b isolates of clinical and food origin in Austria by automated ribotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis.

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Austrian Reference Laboratory for Listeria, Department for Hygiene, Microbiology, and Social Medicine, Innsbruck Medical University, Innsbruck, Austria.


In this study, two typing methods, automated ribotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), were evaluated for the subtyping of Listeria monocytogenes serotype 4b. The strains originated from patients and food samples collected in Austria during 2001-2005 and from Europe and North America in the World Health Organization collaborative study on the subtyping of this species. The largest group of Austrian clinical isolates was of the same PFGE subtype as those isolated from foodborne outbreaks in Switzerland and in the United States. Another subtype of clinical isolates from Austria was indistinguishable to that obtained from isolates responsible for a foodborne outbreak in the United States in 1985. Although the discriminatory power of PFGE was higher than that of automated ribotyping, some PFGE types were differentiated by ribotyping. Thus, combining data obtained by both automated ribotyping and PFGE increases the strain discrimination. Still, many of the Austrian strains remain indistinguishable from strains of foodborne outbreaks in other countries although there is no known epidemiological relation. This complies to previous studies which show the highly clonal nature of L. monocytogenes 4b strains which are responsible for both large outbreaks and sporadic cases.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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