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Foodborne Pathog Dis. 2017 Nov;14(11):623-636. doi: 10.1089/fpd.2016.2274. Epub 2017 Aug 2.

Listeria monocytogenes in Food-Processing Facilities, Food Contamination, and Human Listeriosis: The Brazilian Scenario.

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1 Departamento de Veterinária, Universidade Federal de Viçosa , Viçosa, Minas Gerais, Brazil .
2 Department of Microbiology, University of Washington , Seattle, Washington.
3 Paul G. Allen School for Global Animal Health, Washington State University , Pullman, Washington.


Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that contaminates food-processing environments and persists within biofilms on equipment, utensils, floors, and drains, ultimately reaching final products by cross-contamination. This pathogen grows even under high salt conditions or refrigeration temperatures, remaining viable in various food products until the end of their shelf life. While the estimated incidence of listeriosis is lower than other enteric illnesses, infections caused by L. monocytogenes are more likely to lead to hospitalizations and fatalities. Despite the description of L. monocytogenes occurrence in Brazilian food-processing facilities and foods, there is a lack of consistent data regarding listeriosis cases and outbreaks directly associated with food consumption. Listeriosis requires rapid treatment with antibiotics and most drugs suitable for Gram-positive bacteria are effective against L. monocytogenes. Only a minority of clinical antibiotic-resistant L. monocytogenes strains have been described so far; whereas many strains recovered from food-processing facilities and foods exhibited resistance to antimicrobials not suitable against listeriosis. L. monocytogenes control in food industries is a challenge, demanding proper cleaning and application of sanitization procedures to eliminate this foodborne pathogen from the food-processing environment and ensure food safety. This review focuses on presenting the L. monocytogenes distribution in food-processing environment, food contamination, and control in the food industry, as well as the consequences of listeriosis to human health, providing a comparison of the current Brazilian situation with the international scenario.


Listeria monocytogenes; antibiotic resistant; cross-contamination; food safety; listeriosis

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