Veterinary microbiology

Isolation of Listeria monocytogenes from buffaloes with reproductive disorders and its confirmation by polymerase chain reaction.

PMID 16860946


Listeria monocytogenes, a gram-positive, facultative intracellular pathogen was isolated from buffaloes with a history of reproductive disorders and polymerase chain reaction (PCR) analyses for the presence of virulence-associated genes were conducted. A total of 530 samples of faecal, nasal, vaginal swabs and blood samples from 135 buffaloes were screened. The prevalence of L. monocytogenes and other Listeria spp. was found to be 4.4 and 7.4%, respectively. All isolates were subjected to PCR for virulence-associated genes (prfA, plcA, hlyA, actA and iap) and to pathogenicity testing by the phosphatidylinositol phospholipase C (PI-PLC) assay and mice and chick-embryo inoculation. All L. monocytogenes isolates were hemolytic and positive for the hlyA gene. One L. monocytogenes isolate possessed all five virulence-associated genes and was also positive in the PI-PLC assay as well as in the in vivo pathogenicity tests. The remaining hemolytic L. monocytogenes isolates lacking the plcA gene and PI-PLC assay activity were, however, non-pathogenic via mice and chick-embryo inoculation tests, in spite of having the hlyA gene. The detection of multiple virulence-associated genes, in combination with in vitro pathogenicity tests, must be performed to identify pathogenic L. monocytogenes.