Importance of Listeria monocytogenes in food safety: a review of its prevalence, detection, and antibiotic resistance

Document Type : Review article


1 Student Research Committee, Department of Food Science and Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

2 Department of Food Science and Technology, National Nutrition and Food Technology Research Institute, Faculty of Nutrition Sciences and Food Technology, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran

3 Department of Veterinary Disease Biology, Faculty of Life Sciences, University of Copenhagen, Copenhagen, Denmark

4 Department of Nutritional Sciences, University of Vienna, Vienna, Austria

5 Pediatric Infections Research Center, Research Institute for Children’s Health, Shahid Beheshti University of Medical Sciences, Tehran, Iran


Listeria monocytogenes, as a foodborne pathogenic bacterium, is considered as major causative agent responsible for serious diseases in both humans and animals. Milk and dairy products are among the main sources of energy supply in the human, therefore contamination of these products with Listeria spp., especially L. monocytogenes, could lead to life threatening infections in a large population of people. Rapid and accurate detection of L. monocytogenes in milk and dairy products, vegetables, meat, poultry, and seafood products is needed to prevent its dissemination through the food chain. Upon contamination of food materials with this pathogen, increase in its antibiotic resistance rate can occur after exposure to preservatives, antibiotics, and stress conditions, which has now become another major public health concern emphasizing the need for special attention on its control along the food chain and management of the disease in the patients. This review provides an overview of researches with respect to the prevalence of Listeria spp., especially L. monocytogenes, in milk and dairy products, methods of their detection and typing, and current status of resistance rates to the antibiotics used for treatment of listeriosis.


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