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J Food Prot. 2007 Aug;70(8):1874-80.

Comparison of multiplex PCR with conventional biochemical methods for the identification of Listeria spp. isolates from food and clinical samples in Queensland, Australia.

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Public Health Microbiology Laboratory, Queensland Health Scientific Services, 39 Kessels Road, Coopers Plains, QLD 4108, Australia


Listeria monocytogenes is an important foodborne pathogen with high mortality. L. monocytogenes and five other Listeria species can frequently be found in the same sample. To identify Listeria isolates found in foods to the species level, two multiplex PCRs were designed. The PCR and conventional biochemical methods were compared for the identification of 456 Listeria isolates collected from routine food quality monitoring schemes between June 2004 and February 2006 and for 62 L. monocytogenes isolates from patients between 1999 and 2005. The results showed that the PCR and biochemical methods had 100% agreement in Listeria identification. The distribution of Listeria species from foods was as follows: L. monocytogenes, 50.4%; L. innocua, 33.8%; L. welshimeri, 14.9%; L. seeligeri, 0.7%; L. grayi, 0.2%; and L. ivanovii, 0.0%. Additional analyses were performed to identify the major serotypes (1/2a, 1/2b, 1/2c, and 4b) and the three lineages of L. monocytogenes isolates from foods and patients, with 1/2a (69.6%) and 1/2b (21.7%) dominating the food isolates and 1/2b (54.8%) and 4b (30.7%) dominating the patient isolates. The lineage results showed that isolates of 1/2a and 1/2c belonged to lineage II and that isolates of 1/2b and 4b belonged to lineage I. The multiplex PCRs for Listeria identification that have been established provide an accurate and rapid method for food quality control. This study has provided the basic knowledge of distribution of Listeria species and L. monocytogenes serotypes in Queensland, Australia, which is useful for epidemiological investigations of listeriosis.

[Indexed for MEDLINE]

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