Molecular determinants of Listeria monocytogenes virulence

Annu Rev Microbiol. 2004;58:587-610. doi: 10.1146/annurev.micro.57.030502.090934.


Listeria monocytogenes is the etiological agent of listeriosis, a severe human foodborne infection characterized by gastroenteritis, meningitis, encephalitis, abortions, and perinatal infections. This gram-positive bacterium is a facultative intracellular pathogen that induces its own uptake into nonphagocytic cells and spreads from cell to cell using an actin-based motility process. This review covers both well-established and recent advances in the characterization of L. monocytogenes virulence determinants and their role in the pathophysiology of listeriosis.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Bacterial Adhesion / immunology
  • Bacterial Proteins / immunology
  • Genetic Variation
  • Genome, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Listeria monocytogenes / genetics*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / immunology
  • Listeria monocytogenes / pathogenicity*
  • Listeriosis / immunology
  • Listeriosis / microbiology*
  • Virulence


  • Bacterial Proteins