Listeria monocytogenes

Epidemiology of Listeria monocytogenes in the dairy production chain

Dairy products are a common source of listeriosis, a serious food-borne illness caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. Dairy cattle farms serve as reservoirs for L. monocytogenes and cattle may contribute to the dissemination of strains associated with human listeriosis outbreaks. L. monocytogenes is a resilient pathogen that is difficult to eradicate from food production premises and it is able to grow in refrigerated foods. Understanding how L. monocytogenes survives and disseminates through the dairy production chain is a prerequisite for the development of new control strategies against milk and dairy product contamination. With the use of tools such as molecular typing and whole genome sequencing, the groups aims to uncover the occurrence, ecology and contamination routes of L. monocytogenes in dairy production.