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Appl Microbiol. 1975 Jul;30(1):29-32.

Incidence of Listeria monocytogenes in nature.


During a research project on the occurrence of Listeria monocytogenes 194 strains were isolated in southern West Germany during the years 1972 to 1974:154 from soil and plant samples (20.3%), 16 from feces of deer and stag (15.7%), 9 from old moldy fodder and wildlife feeding grounds (27.2%), and 8 from birds (17.3%). The highest number of isolates was obtained from uncultivated fields. The beta-hemolytic serovars 1/2b and 4b were were predominant; other serovars (some of them identified for the first time), including nonhemolyzing strains, have been encountered frequently. It is suggested that Listeria monocytogenes is a saprophytic organism which lives in a plant-soil environment and therefore can be contracted by humans and animals via many possible routes from many sources.

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