Adapted from George C. Paoli, Arun Bhunia and Darrell O. Bayles in Foodborne Pathogens: Microbiology and Molecular Biology
Listeria monocytogenes: Listeria monocytogenes is Gram-positive foodborne bacterial pathogen and the causative agent of human listeriosis. The organism has served as a model for the study of intracellular pathogenesis for several decades and many aspects of the pathogenic process are well understood. Listeriae are acquired primarily through the consumption of contaminated foods including soft cheese, raw milk, deli salads, and ready-to-eat foods such as luncheon meats and frankfurters. Although Listeria monocytogenes infection is usually limited to individuals that are immunocompromised, the high mortality rate associated with human listeriosis makes Listeria monocytogenes the leading cause of death amongst foodborne bacterial pathogens. As a result, tremendous effort has been made at developing methods for the isolation, detection and control of Listeria monocytogenes in foods. Additional research in the area of genomics and proteomics has begun to be applied toward developing a better understanding of how Listeria monocytogenes responds to its environment. These efforts will allow a more complete understanding of the pathogenic process and will aid the design and development of targeted strategies for detection and intervention, leading to improved control of Listeria monocytogenes in foods.
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