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Front Cell Infect Microbiol. 2013 Nov 28;3:87. doi: 10.3389/fcimb.2013.00087. eCollection 2013.

Listeria monocytogenes, a down-to-earth pathogen.

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UMR1347 Agroécologie, Université de Bourgogne Dijon, France ; UMR1347 Agroécologie, INRA Dijon, France.


Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of the food-borne life threatening disease listeriosis. This pathogenic bacterium received much attention in the endeavor of deciphering the cellular mechanisms that underlie the onset of infection and its ability to adapt to the food processing environment. Although information is available on the presence of L. monocytogenes in many environmental niches including soil, water, plants, foodstuff and animals, understanding the ecology of L. monocytogenes in outdoor environments has received less attention. Soil is an environmental niche of pivotal importance in the transmission of this bacterium to plants and animals. Soil composition, microbial communities and macrofauna are extrinsic edaphic factors that direct the fate of L. monocytogenes in the soil environment. Moreover, farming practices may further affect its incidence. The genome of L. monocytogenes presents an extensive repertoire of genes encoding transport proteins and regulators, a characteristic of the genome of ubiquitous bacteria. Postgenomic analyses bring new insights in the process of soil adaptation. In the present paper focussing on soil, we review these extrinsic and intrinsic factors that drive environmental adaptation of L. monocytogenes.


Listeria; biodiversity; circulation; contamination; environment; occurrence; persistence; soil

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