Certain Listeria monocytogenes plasmids contribute to increased UVC ultraviolet light stress

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2021-09
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Schmitz-Esser, Stephan
Schmitz-Esser, Stephan
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© The Author(s) 2021
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Animal Science
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Microbiology
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Animal ScienceMicrobiology
Abstract
Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of the highly fatal foodborne disease listeriosis and can persist in food production environments. Recent research highlights the involvement of L. monocytogenes plasmids in different stress response mechanisms, which contribute to its survival in food production facilities. Ultraviolet (UV) light in the UVC spectrum (200–280 nm) is used in food production to control microbial contamination. Although plasmid-encoded UV resistance mechanisms have been described in other bacteria, no research indicates that L. monocytogenes plasmids contribute to the UV stress response. The plasmids of L. monocytogenes strains 6179, 4KSM and R479a are genetically distinct and were utilized to study the roles of plasmids in the UV response. Wild-type and plasmid-cured variant cells were grown to logarithmic or late-stationary phase, plated on agar plates and exposed to UVC for 60 or 90 s, and colony-forming units (CFUs) were determined. CFUs of 6179 and 4KSM, bearing pLM6179 and p4KSM, respectively, were significantly (P-value < 0.05) higher than those of the plasmid-cured strains in both logarithmic and stationary phases. No difference in survival was observed for the R479a strain. Our data show for the first time that certain L. monocytogenes plasmids contribute to the survival of UVC light stress.
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This article is published as Anast, Justin M., and Stephan Schmitz-Esser. "Certain Listeria monocytogenes plasmids contribute to increased UVC ultraviolet light stress." FEMS Microbiology Letters 368, no. 17 (2021): fnab123. doi:10.1093/femsle/fnab123. This is an Open Access article distributed under the terms of the Creative Commons Attribution License (https://creativecommons.org/licenses/by/4.0/), which permits unrestricted reuse, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.
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Listeria monocytogenes, foodborne illness, plasmid, ultraviolet light, food production stress, persistence
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