Discovery of natural atypical nonhemolytic Listeria seeligeri isolates.

Center for Biologics Evaluation and Research, Office of Vaccine Research and Review, Division of Viral Products, U.S. Food and Drug Administration, HFM-470, 1401 Rockville Pike, Rockville, MD 20852, USA.
Applied and Environmental Microbiology (Impact Factor: 3.95). 05/2006; 72(4):2439-48. DOI: 10.1128/AEM.72.4.2439-2448.2006
Source: PubMed

ABSTRACT We found seven Listeria isolates, initially identified as isolates with the Xyl(+) Rha(-) biotype of Listeria welshimeri by phenotypic tests, which exhibited discrepant genotypic properties in a well-validated Listeria species identification oligonucleotide microarray. The microarray gives results of these seven isolates being atypical hly-negative L. seeligeri isolates, not L. welshimeri isolates. The aberrant L. seeligeri isolates were d-xylose fermentation positive, l-rhamnose fermentation negative (Xyl(+) Rha(-)), and nonhemolytic on blood agar and in the CAMP test with both Staphylococcus aureus (S(-) reaction) and Rhodococcus equi (R(-) reaction). All genes of the prfA cluster of L. seeligeri, located in the prs-ldh region, including the orfA2, orfD, prfA, orfE, plcA, hly, orfK, mpl, actA, dplcB, plcB, orfH, orfX, orfI, orfP, orfB, and orfA genes, were checked by PCR and direct sequencing for evidence of their presence in the atypical isolates. The prs-prfA cluster-ldh region of the L. seeligeri isolates was approximately threefold shorter due to the loss of orfD, prfA, orfE, plcA, hly, orfK, mpl, actA, dplcB, plcB, orfH, orfX, and orfI. The genetic map order of the cluster genes of all the atypical L. seeligeri isolates was prs-orfA2-orfP-orfB-orfA-ldh, which was comparable to the similar region in L. welshimeri, with the exception of the presence of orfA2. DNA sequencing and phylogenetic analysis of 17 housekeeping genes indicated an L. seeligeri genomic background in all seven of the atypical hly-negative L. seeligeri isolates. Thus, the novel biotype of Xyl(+) Rha(-) Hly(-) L. seeligeri strains can only be distinguished from Xyl(+) Rha(-) L. welshimeri strains genotypically, not phenotypically. In contrast, the Rha(+) Xyl(+) biotype of L. welshimeri would not present an identification issue.

  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The atypical hemolytic Listeria innocua strains PRL/NW 15B95 and J1-023 were previously shown to contain gene clusters analogous to the pathogenicity island (LIPI-1) present in the related foodborne gram-positive facultative intracellular pathogen Listeria monocytogenes, which causes listeriosis. LIPI-1 includes the hemo- lysin gene, thus explaining the hemolytic activity of the atypical L. innocua strains. No other L. monocytogenes- specific virulence genes were found to be present. In order to investigate whether any other specific L. monocytogenes genes could be identified, a global approach using a Listeria biodiversity DNA array was applied. According to the hybridization results, the isolates were defined as L. innocua strains containing LIPI-1. Surprisingly, evidence for the presence of the L. monocytogenes-specific inlA gene, previously thought to be absent, was obtained. The inlA gene codes for the InlA protein which enables bacterial entry into some nonprofessional phagocytic cells. PCR and sequence analysis of this region revealed that the flanking genes of the inlA gene at the upstream, 5-end region were similar to genes found in L. monocytogenes serotype 4b isolates, whereas the organization of the downstream, 3-end region was similar to that typical of L. innocua. Sequencing of the inlA region identified a small stretch reminiscent of the inlB gene of L. monocytogenes. The presence of two clusters of L. monocytogenes-specific genes makes it unlikely that PRL/NW 15B95 and J1-023 are L. innocua strains altered by horizontal transfer. It is more likely that they are distinct relics of the evolution of L. innocua from an ancestral L. monocytogenes, as postulated by others. Listeria innocua is a species that is ubiquitously distributed in the natural environment, and unlike L. monocytogenes, repre- sents an example of a nonharmful, nonhemolytic saprophytic Listeria sp. L. innocua has been isolated from a variety of environmental sources, including surface water, soil, sewage, vegetation, and food-processing plants. According to current knowledge, L. innocua does not carry the virulence-associated genes or clusters present and described in the genomes of the pathogenic Listeria species, L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii. However, several unusual L. monocytogenes-like hemolytic L. innocua strains were isolated and phenotypically and geneti- cally characterized (19). An example is the food isolate PRL/NW 15B95, a naturally but atypically hemolytic L. in- nocua strain (19). We have shown previously that this L. in- nocua strain contains the L. monocytogenes PrfA-regulated pathogenicity island 1 (LIPI-1) gene cluster. LIPI-1 of strain PRL/NW 15B95 is inserted in a background in which L. in- nocua genes preponderate. The initial characterization of this strain did not allow a definitive conclusion about how it evolved, although the results indicated horizontal transfer of this island, as other, non-LIPI-1 genes of L. monocytogenes were absent. Thus, importation of the cluster into an ancestral L. innocua strain rather than vertical evolution of the strain from a common ancestor of L. monocytogenes and L. innocua
    International Journal of Antimicrobial Agents 03/2007; 29(6). DOI:10.1016/S0924-8579(07)70433-8 · 4.26 Impact Factor
  • [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: Listeriosis is a severe disease with high mortality rate, especially in immunosuppressed individuals. The causative organism Listeria monocytogenes is primarily transmitted to humans through contaminated foods. To gain an understanding of the prevalence of Listeria in Chinese food products, we reviewed relevant papers from journals published in China from 2000 to 2007. The average recovery rate of Listeria spp. was 3.7% (0.1-7.7%) in all food categories in 13 provinces, with raw meat being the leading source. L. innocua (28.9%, 271/937) and L. monocytogenes (25.3%, 237/937) were more commonly isolated, both at higher proportion in all food types. Subtyping schemes in three laboratories in different provinces revealed that the majority of the L. monocytogenes isolates belonged to lineage II (67.1%), followed by lineage I at 31.6%, including the pathogenic serovars 1/2a, 1/2b, and 4b isolates. Lineage III isolates comprising the low-pathogenic serovar 4a were rare. Knowledge of the prevalence of Listeria in various food products in different regions of China may be useful for developing intervention strategies for control of contaminations along the production chains.
    Foodborne Pathogens and Disease 02/2009; 6(1):7-14. DOI:10.1089/fpd.2008.0139 · 2.09 Impact Factor
  • Source
    [Show abstract] [Hide abstract]
    ABSTRACT: The bacterial genus Listeria contains pathogenic and non-pathogenic species, including the pathogens L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii, both of which carry homologous virulence gene clusters such as the prfA cluster and clusters of internalin genes. Initial evidence for multiple deletions of the prfA cluster during the evolution of Listeria indicates that this genus provides an interesting model for studying the evolution of virulence and also presents practical challenges with regard to definition of pathogenic strains. To better understand genome evolution and evolution of virulence characteristics in Listeria, we used a next generation sequencing approach to generate draft genomes for seven strains representing Listeria species or clades for which genome sequences were not available. Comparative analyses of these draft genomes and six publicly available genomes, which together represent the main Listeria species, showed evidence for (i) a pangenome with 2,032 core and 2,918 accessory genes identified to date, (ii) a critical role of gene loss events in transition of Listeria species from facultative pathogen to saprotroph, even though a consistent pattern of gene loss seemed to be absent, and a number of isolates representing non-pathogenic species still carried some virulence associated genes, and (iii) divergence of modern pathogenic and non-pathogenic Listeria species and strains, most likely circa 47 million years ago, from a pathogenic common ancestor that contained key virulence genes. Genome evolution in Listeria involved limited gene loss and acquisition as supported by (i) a relatively high coverage of the predicted pan-genome by the observed pan-genome, (ii) conserved genome size (between 2.8 and 3.2 Mb), and (iii) a highly syntenic genome. Limited gene loss in Listeria did include loss of virulence associated genes, likely associated with multiple transitions to a saprotrophic lifestyle. The genus Listeria thus provides an example of a group of bacteria that appears to evolve through a loss of virulence rather than acquisition of virulence characteristics. While Listeria includes a number of species-like clades, many of these putative species include clades or strains with atypical virulence associated characteristics. This information will allow for the development of genetic and genomic criteria for pathogenic strains, including development of assays that specifically detect pathogenic Listeria strains.
    BMC Genomics 12/2010; 11:688. DOI:10.1186/1471-2164-11-688 · 4.04 Impact Factor


Available from