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Virulence Mechanisms of Listeria Monocytogenes


The objective of this cooperative research project is to identify and evaluate virulence determinants of the foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes that influence its virulence in the gastrointestinal tract. This information will help us to better understand how Listeria monocytogenes causes disease following its ingestion on contaminated food products.

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Wild type and mutant strains of L. monocytogenes will be grown in bacteriological broth. Log-phase organisms will be inoculated intragastrically into A/J mice, a susceptible mouse strain. Mice will be euthanized at various time points and select tissues will be removed for bacteriological and histopathological evaluation of the severity of the infection. We also will evalaute the ability of the wild type and mutant strains for their ability to invade and multiply within intestinal epithelial and fibroblast cell lines. Those strains that differ from the wild type will also be evaluated for prior growth on ready to eat meat products vs. in bacteriological broth and their subsequent effect on virulence.

Luchansky, John
University of Wisconsin - Madison
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