Oxygen restriction increases the infection potential of Listeria monocytogenes - a transcriptional analysis.

Jens Bo Andersen, Anders Bergström, Gitte Maegaard Knudsen, Bjarke Bak Christensen, Mette Boye, Tine Ebersbach, Tine Rask Licht

Research output: Contribution to conferencePosterResearch


Listeria monocytogenes has been implicated in several food borne outbreaks as well as sporadic cases of disease during the last two decades. Increased understanding of the biology of this organism is important in the prevention of food borne listeriosis. This is highly relevant for safety assessment of this organism in food. We have previously shown (Andersen et al., BMC Microbiology; 2007, 7:55) that the environmental conditions to which L. monocytogenes is exposed prior to ingestion are decisive for its in vivo infective potential in the gastrointestinal tract after passage of the gastric barrier. Infection of Caco-2 cells revealed that Listeria cultivated under oxygen-restricted conditions were approximately 100 fold more invasive than similar cultures grown without oxygen restriction. This means that not only the number of Listeria present in a given food item, but that also the physiological condition of these bacteria is important for food safety. The in vitro and in vivo data suggest that an oxygen-restricted L. monocytogenes cell represents a significantly higher risk than a cell grown without oxygen restriction. In order to identify transcriptional differences contributing to different invasiveness, microarrray gene chip technology was applied to cDNA created from RNA isolated from oxygen restricted and non-restricted cultures. The analysis confirmed several relevant genes to be differentially transcribed in the two environmental conditions e.g. genes related to virulence potential of Listeria monocytogenes.
Original languageEnglish
Publication date2010
Publication statusPublished - 2010
EventISOPOL XVII - International Symposium on pProblems of Listeriosis - Porto, Portugal
Duration: 5 May 20108 May 2010
Conference number: 17


ConferenceISOPOL XVII - International Symposium on pProblems of Listeriosis
Internet address


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