We analysed the surveillance data from listeriosis cases notified to the Finnish National Infectious Diseases Register between 1995 and 2004 and describe our recent experience in investigating clusters of listeriosis cases. The number of annual cases varied between 18 and 53 but no trends in incidence were identified (average annual incidence was 7 cases per million inhabitants). Only a few cases affected pregnant women or newborns. Most of the patients were elderly people with non-malignant underlying illnesses; 25% of them died from their infections. By routine sero- and genotyping of the listeria isolates, we detected several clusters; the vehicle for infection was only identified for two outbreaks. At least one quarter of listeriosis cases (78/315) was caused by a certain sero-genotype or closely related genotypes, which have also been found from vacuum-packed cold-smoked or cold-salted fish products. During 2000-2003, Finnish consumers were repeatedly informed about food precautions for risk groups. The information was also given to attending physicians and prenatal clinics.
Enhanced immunological memory responses to Listeria monocytogenes in rodents, as measured by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH), adoptive transfer of DTH, and protective immunity, following Lactobacillus casei Shirota ingestion.
We have investigated the effect of orally administered Lactobacillus casei Shirota (L. casei) on immunological memory, as measured by delayed-type hypersensitivity (DTH) and acquired cellular resistance (ACR). The studies were performed in animal models in which the animals were rendered immune by a primary Listeria monocytogenes infection. It was shown that orally administered viable L. casei, and not heat-killed L. casei, enhanced significantly the antigen-specific DTH at 24 and 48 h in Wistar rats, Brown Norway rats, and BALB/c mice in a time- and dose-dependent fashion. L. casei had to be administered at least 3 days prior to the DTH assay at a daily dose of 10(9) CFU in order to induce significant effects. Long-term administration of 10(9) CFU of viable L. casei resulted in enhanced ACR, as demonstrated by reduced L. monocytogenes counts in the spleen and liver and diminished serum alanine aminotransferase activity after reinfection. Enhancement of cell-mediated immunological immune responses by L. casei was further established in an adoptive transfer study. Naïve recipient BALB/c mice, which were infused with nonadherent, immunized spleen cells from L. casei-fed donor BALB/c mice, showed significantly enhanced DTH responses at 24 and 48 h compared to recipient mice which received spleen cells from control donor mice. In conclusion, orally administered L. casei enhanced cell-mediated immunological memory responses. The effects relied on lactobacillus dose and viability as well as timing of supplementation and, further, appeared to be independent of host species or genetic background.
Packaged fresh pork chops (30-g samples) containing an indigenous bacterial population of approximately 10(7) CFU/g were inoculated with 10(7) CFU of Listeria monocytogenes Scott A per g, heat sealed, and subjected to high-pressure processing at 200 to 400 MPa for up to 90 min. Total counts and the number of surviving L. monocytogenes cells were determined by a spread plate technique on tryptic soy agar and modified Oxford medium, respectively. The pressure destruction was characterized by a dual-behavior, consisting of a step change in the number of survivors (Pk0) with the application of a pressure pulse and a first-order rate drop in the number of survivors during the pressure hold period. Higher pressures resulted in higher rates of microbial inactivation, as indicated by their associated lower D values (and higher k values). The pressure sensitivities of the kinetic parameters were evaluated on the basis of Arrhenius and pressure death time (PDT)-type models. The results suggested that L. monocytogenes was more resistant to pressure inactivation than the indigenous microflora (the volume change of activation, deltaV* [Arrhenius model]), and Zp values (PDT model) were -4.17 x 10(-5) m3 mole(-1) and 134 MPa for indigenous microflora and -3.43 x 10(-5) m3 mole(-1) and 163 MPa for L. monocytogenes respectively.
Listeria monocytogenes has been reported to cause various infectious diseases in both humans and animals. More rarely, ocular infections have been reported. To our knowledge, only two cases of Listeria keratitis have been described in horses. We report kerato-conjunctivitis in four Norwegian horses associated with L. monocytogenes. Clinically, all cases were presented with recurrent unilateral kerato-conjunctivitis. L. monocytogenes bacteria were isolated from swab samples from all cases, and cytology carried out in 3 cases was indicative of L. monocytogenes infection. The present report describes the first known cases in which L. monocytogenes has been isolated from keratitic lesions in horses in Norway. A potential risk factor may be feeding of silage or haylage, but other sources of infection cannot be ruled out. The phenotypic features including antimicrobial susceptibility and serotype of the isolates are described. Laboratory detection of L. monocytogenes demands extra caution since only low numbers of bacteria were detected in the eye-swabs, probably due to the low volume of sample material and the intracellular niche of the bacterium. A general poor response to treatment in all these cases indicates that clinicians should pay extra attention to intensity and duration of treatment if L. monocytogenes is identified in connection with equine kerato-conjunctivitis.
There was investigated the dynamics of growth of Listeria monocytogenes and Yersinia pseudotuberculosis in soils of sea coast (mid-flight and maritime soils). These bacteria were shown to reproduced well in all researched soils, preferring nevertheless maritime soils. The content of the humus was determined to be the one of the limiting factors restricting the multiplication of pathogenic bacteria in studied soils. Abiotic characteristic of soils of sea coast were established to render the direct positive influence on the preservation and reproduction of pathogenic microflora in them. This is promoted by a degree of a saturation by the bases, cation-exchange capacity, quantity of humus. In the formation of environmental policy it should be taken into account and the human-induced load on the soil should be limited
Listeria monocytogenes was isolated from critical control points in a Danish turkey processing plant, from turkey products and from cases of human listeriosis. During processing in the plant the prevalence of L. monocytogenes ranged from 25.9 to 41.4%. Cleaning and disinfection decreased the prevalence to 6.4%. Isolates of L. monocytogenes were characterized by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) using restriction endonuclease ApaI. Identical DNA types were obtained from turkey products and the processing line even after cleaning and disinfection. Two identical DNA types were demonstrated among isolates from turkey products and human cases of listeriosis. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes in turkey products ranged from 7.3 to 17.4% for ready-to-eat products and raw products, respectively. Since none of the 27 flocks examined before slaughter sampled positive for L. monocytogenes and the prevalence increased during processing, the potential risk from turkey meat was apparently due to factory hygiene rather than intrinsic contamination of the turkeys.
To investigate the bacteriological quality, and the occurrence of selected pathogenic bacteria from organically grown Iceberg lettuce fertilized with bovine manure in the form of compost, firm manure and slurry in a 2-year field trial.
Samples of soil, fertilizer, fertilized soil, seedlings and lettuce were analysed for aerobic plate counts (APC), thermotolerant coliform bacteria (TCB), Escherichia coli, E. coli O157:H7, Salmonella spp. and Listeria monocytogenes. No difference in bacteriological quality could be shown in lettuce at harvest, however, APC varied significantly from year to year in the study. The various treatments gave significantly different APC and numbers of TCB isolated from fertilized soil. Escherichia coli O157:H7 was isolated from firm manure and slurry, and soils fertilized with the respective fertilizers the second year, but were not recovered from the lettuce.
No difference in bacteriological quality could be detected in lettuce at harvest after application of various types of manure-based fertilizers grown under Norwegian conditions.
The results may indicate that the use of manure does not have considerable influence on the bacteriological quality of organic lettuce. However, others have suggested that there is a risk by using manure. There is a need for more research in the field.
The results of the bacteriological study of material, taken from humans, rodents, hydro-bios and environmental objects (including foodstuffs) in the Primorsky Territory, for the presence of L. monocytogenes bacteria are given. 83 bacterial strains of the genus Listeria were isolated. As revealed in this study, 25 of these strains belonged to L. monocytogenes (30.12%), 8 strains--to L. innocua (9.6%), 6 strains--to L. seeligeri (7.2%) and 2 strains--to L. ivanovii (2.4%). The greatest number of L. monocytogenes was isolated from foodstuffs and environmental objects. Some biological properties of L. monocytogenes were studied, the degree of their pathogenicity and sensitivity to antimicrobial preparations were determined.
Listeria monocytogenes strains that were isolated from 314 human listeriosis cases in Finland during an 11-year period were analyzed by O:H serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE). Serotyping divided the isolates into five serotypes, the most common being 1/2a (53%) and 4b (27%). During the study period, the number of cases caused by serotype 1/2a increased from 22% in 1990 to 67% in 2001, and those caused by serotype 4b decreased from 61 to 27%, respectively. PFGE with restriction enzyme AscI divided the strains into 81 PFGE genotypes; among strains of serotypes 1/2a and 4b, 49 and 18 PFGE types were seen, respectively. PFGE type 1 (serotype 1/2a) was the most prevalent single type (37 strains). Together with six other, closely related PFGE types, PFGE type 1 formed a group of 71 strains, representing 23% of all 314 strains. Strains of PFGE type 1 have also been isolated from cold smoked fish, suggesting a source of human infections caused by this type. Moreover, PFGE type 24 (serotype 1/2c) was significantly associated with gender: 5% of 180 male subjects but none of 132 female subjects (P = 0.012). An electronic database library was created from the PFGE profiles to make possible the prompt detection of new emerging profiles and the tracing of potential infection clusters in the future.