Extracellular replication of Listeria monocytogenes in the murine gall bladder

Science. 2004 Feb 6;303(5659):851-3. doi: 10.1126/science.1092712.


The bacterium Listeria monocytogenes can cause a life-threatening systemic illness in humans. Despite decades of progress in animal models of listeriosis, much remains unknown about the processes of infection and colonization. Here, we report that L. monocytogenes can replicate in the murine gall bladder and provide evidence that its replication there is extracellular and intraluminal. In vivo bioluminescence imaging was employed to determine the location of the infection over time in live animals, revealing strong signals from the gall bladder over a period of several days, in diseased as well as asymptomatic animals. The data suggest that L. monocytogenes may be carried in the human gall bladder.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, Non-P.H.S.
  • Research Support, U.S. Gov't, P.H.S.

MeSH terms

  • Animals
  • Colony Count, Microbial
  • Female
  • Gallbladder / microbiology*
  • Gallbladder Diseases / microbiology*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / genetics
  • Listeria monocytogenes / growth & development*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / isolation & purification
  • Listeria monocytogenes / pathogenicity
  • Listeriosis / microbiology*
  • Liver / microbiology
  • Luminescence
  • Mice
  • Mice, Inbred BALB C
  • Mutation
  • Spleen / microbiology
  • Time Factors
  • Virulence