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Atypical Hemolytic Listeria innocua Isolates Are Virulent, albeit Less than Listeria monocytogenes

Abstract : Listeria innocua is considered a nonpathogenic Listeria species. Natural atypical hemolytic L. innocua isolates have been reported but have not been characterized in detail. Here, we report the genomic and functional characterization of representative isolates from the two known natural hemolytic L. innocua clades. Whole-genome sequencing confirmed the presence of Listeria pathogenicity islands (LIPI) characteristic of Listeria monocytogenes species. Functional assays showed that LIPI-1 and inlA genes are transcribed, and the corresponding gene products are expressed and functional. Using in vitro and in vivo assays, we show that atypical hemolytic L. innocua is virulent, can actively cross the intestinal epithelium, and spreads systemi-cally to the liver and spleen, albeit to a lesser degree than the reference L. monocy-togenes EGDe strain. Although human exposure to hemolytic L. innocua is likely rare, these findings are important for food safety and public health. The presence of viru-lence traits in some L. innocua clades supports the existence of a common virulent ancestor of L. monocytogenes and L. innocua.
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Submitted on : Tuesday, October 22, 2019 - 1:25:28 PM
Last modification on : Tuesday, June 16, 2020 - 4:40:04 PM

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Alexandra Moura, Olivier Disson, Morgane Lavina, Pierre Thouvenot, Lei Huang, et al.. Atypical Hemolytic Listeria innocua Isolates Are Virulent, albeit Less than Listeria monocytogenes. Infection and Immunity, American Society for Microbiology, 2019, 87 (4), ⟨10.1128/IAI.00758-18⟩. ⟨pasteur-02325962⟩

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