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Microb Drug Resist. 2009 Mar;15(1):27-32. doi: 10.1089/mdr.2009.0863.

Comparative antimicrobial susceptibility of Listeria monocytogenes, L. innocua, and L. welshimeri.

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Bacterial Epidemiology and Antimicrobial Resistance Research Unit, Richard B. Russell Research Center, Agricultural Research Service, U.S. Department of Agriculture, Athens, Georgia 30605, USA.


The current study compared antimicrobial susceptibility of Listeria innocua, L. welshimeri, and L. monocytogenes isolated from various sources. Antimicrobial susceptibility testing was performed using a microbroth procedure with Sensititre minimum inhibitory concentration plates containing 18 antimicrobials. Resistant isolates were analyzed for the presence of antimicrobial resistance genes using PCR. The majority of L. monocytogenes isolates were resistant to oxacillin (99%, 89/90) and ceftriaxone (72%, 65/90), while few isolates were resistant to clindamycin (21%, 19/90) and ciprofloxacin (2%, 2/90). When selected sources of L. monocytogenes are compared, resistance to ceftriaxone, clindamycin, and oxacillin ranged from 27% to 86%, 7% to 43%, and 96% to 100%, respectively. Resistance to ciprofloxacin (6%, 2/34), quinupristin/dalfopristin (7%, 1/14), and tetracycline (7%, 1/15) was observed with L. monocytogenes isolated from food, animal, and environmental sources, respectively. All L. welshimeri isolates (6/6) were resistant to streptomycin, quinupristin/dalfopristin, ciprofloxacin, rifampin, oxacillin, penicillin, and clindamycin, while most isolates (67%, 4/6) were resistant to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole. All L. innocua isolates (4/4) were resistant to oxacillin and penicillin, whereas 75% (3/4) of isolates were resistant to tetracycline, ceftriaxone, and clindamycin. Resistant isolates were negative for aadA, strA-B, sul I-II, penA, vat(A-E), vga(A-B), and vgb(A-B). However, tetM was detected among tetracycline-resistant isolates. L. welshimeri was resistant to more of the tested antimicrobials than the other two Listeria species tested, but resistance was not attributed to selected resistance genes. These data demonstrate the variability in resistance among Listeria species. However, the human pathogen L. monocytogenes appears to be the least resistant among the tested species.

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