A hybrid sub-lineage of Listeria monocytogenes comprising hypervirulent isolates
Loessner, Martin J.
- Journal Article
Rights / licenseCreative Commons Attribution 4.0 International
The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) is a highly heterogeneous species and currently comprises of 4 evolutionarily distinct lineages. Here, we characterize isolates from severe ovine listeriosis outbreaks that represent a hybrid sub-lineage of the major lineage II (HSL-II) and serotype 4h. HSL-II isolates are highly virulent and exhibit higher organ colonization capacities than well-characterized hypervirulent strains of Lm in an orogastric mouse infection model. The isolates harbour both the Lm Pathogenicity Island (LIPI)-1 and a truncated LIPI-2 locus, encoding sphingomyelinase (SmcL), a virulence factor required for invasion and bacterial translocation from the gut, and other non-contiguous chromosomal segments from another pathogenic species, L. ivanovii. HSL-II isolates exhibit a unique wall teichoic acid (WTA) structure essential for resistance to antimicrobial peptides, bacterial invasion and virulence. The discovery of isolates harbouring pan-species virulence genes of the genus Listeria warrants global efforts to identify further hypervirulent lineages of Lm. Show more
Journal / seriesNature Communications
Pages / Article No.
PublisherNature Publishing Group
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