Listeria: A foodborne pathogen that knows how to survive

Int J Food Microbiol. 2007 Jan 1;113(1):1-15. doi: 10.1016/j.ijfoodmicro.2006.07.008. Epub 2006 Sep 28.


The foodborne pathogen Listeria is the causative agent of listeriosis, a severe disease with high hospitalization and case fatality rates. Listeria monocytogenes can survive and grow over a wide range of environmental conditions such as refrigeration temperatures, low pH and high salt concentration. This allows the pathogen to overcome food preservation and safety barriers, and pose a potential risk to human health. This review focuses on the key issues such as survival of the pathogen in adverse environments, and the important adaptation and survival mechanisms such as biofilm formation, quorum sensing and antimicrobial resistance. Studies on the development of technologies to prevent and control L. monocytogenes contamination in foods and food processing facilities are also discussed.

Publication types

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

MeSH terms

  • Adaptation, Physiological
  • Biofilms / growth & development*
  • Consumer Product Safety
  • Drug Resistance, Bacterial
  • Food Contamination / prevention & control*
  • Food Microbiology
  • Food Preservation / methods
  • Humans
  • Listeria monocytogenes / growth & development*
  • Listeria monocytogenes / pathogenicity
  • Listeria* / growth & development
  • Listeria* / pathogenicity
  • Listeria* / physiology
  • Listeriosis / microbiology*
  • Quorum Sensing