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Curr Protoc Microbiol. 2008 Aug;Chapter 9:Unit9B.1. doi: 10.1002/9780471729259.mc09b01s10.

Animal models of Listeria infection.

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Group of Molecular Microbiology, Instituto de Biologia Molecular e Celular (IBMC), Universidade do Porto, Portugal.


Listeria monocytogenes is an intracellular foodborne pathogen that causes listeriosis, an infection characterized by gastroenteritis, meningitis, encephalitis, and maternofetal infections in humans. L. monocytogenes enters the host via contaminated foods, invades the small intestine, translocates to mesenteric lymph nodes, and spreads to the liver, spleen, brain and, in pregnant women, the fetoplacental unit. Many pathogenicity tests for studying L. monocytogenes have been developed, including tests using laboratory animals. A number of small animal species can be experimentally infected with Listeria. Mice and guinea pigs can be infected either intragastrically or intravenously, and virulence evaluated either by enumerating bacteria within infected target organs or by evaluating the 50% lethal dose (LD50). Although mice and guinea pigs can be infected with Listeria by a variety of routes, the intragastric route is the most relevant to the human foodborne listeriosis.

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