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Int J Syst Evol Microbiol. 2013 Feb;63(Pt 2):526-32. doi: 10.1099/ijs.0.036947-0. Epub 2012 Apr 20.

Listeria fleischmannii sp. nov., isolated from cheese.

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Laboratory of Food Biotechnology, Institute of Food, Nutrition and Health, ETH Zurich, 8092 Zurich, Switzerland.


A study was performed on three isolates (LU2006-1(T), LU2006-2 and LU2006-3), which were sampled independently from cheese in western Switzerland in 2006, as well as a fourth isolate (A11-3426), which was detected in 2011, using a polyphasic approach. The isolates could all be assigned to the genus Listeria but not to any known species. Phenotypic and chemotaxonomic data were compatible with the genus Listeria and phylogenetic analysis based on 16S rRNA gene sequences confirmed that the closest relationships were with members of this genus. However, DNA-DNA hybridization demonstrated that the isolates did not belong to any currently described species. Cell-wall-binding domains of Listeria monocytogenes bacteriophage endolysins were able to attach to the isolates, confirming their tight relatedness to the genus Listeria. Although PCR targeting the central portion of the flagellin gene flaA was positive, motility was not observed. The four isolates could not be discriminated by Fourier transform infrared spectroscopy or pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. This suggests that they represent a single species, which seems to be adapted to the environment in a cheese-ripening cellar as it was re-isolated from the same type of Swiss cheese after more than 5 years. Conjugation experiments demonstrated that the isolates harbour a transferable resistance to clindamycin. The isolates did not exhibit haemolysis or show any indication of human pathogenicity or virulence. The four isolates are affiliated with the genus Listeria but can be differentiated from all described members of the genus Listeria and therefore they merit being classified as representatives of a novel species, for which we propose the name Listeria fleischmannii sp. nov.; the type strain is LU2006-1(T) ( = DSM 24998(T)  = LMG 26584(T)).

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