Prevalence, identification by a DNA microarray-based assay of human and food isolates Listeria spp. from Tunisia

Pathol Biol (Paris). 2014 Feb;62(1):24-9. doi: 10.1016/j.patbio.2013.10.005. Epub 2014 Jan 23.


Objectives: We aimed at evaluating the prevalence of Listeria species isolated from food samples and characterizing food and human cases isolates.

Material and methods: Between 2005 and 2007, one hundred food samples collected in the markets of Tunis were analysed in our study. Five strains of Listeria monocytogenes responsible for human listeriosis isolated in hospital of Tunis were included. Multiplex PCR serogrouping and pulsed field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) applying the enzyme AscI and ApaI were used for the characterization of isolates of L. monocytogenes. We have developed a rapid microarray-based assay to a reliable discrimination of species within the Listeria genus.

Results: The prevalence of Listeria spp. in food samples was estimated at 14% by using classical biochemical identification. Two samples were assigned to L. monocytogenes and 12 to L. innocua. DNA microarray allowed unambiguous identification of Listeria species. Our results obtained by microarray-based assay were in accordance with the biochemical identification. The two food L. monocytogenes isolates were assigned to the PCR serogroup IIa (serovar 1/2a). Whereas human L. monocytogenes isolates were of PCR serogroup IVb, (serovars 4b). These isolates present a high similarity in PFGE. Food L. monocytogenes isolates were classified into two different pulsotypes. These pulsotypes were different from that of the five strains responsible for the human cases.

Conclusion: We confirmed the presence of Listeria spp. in variety of food samples in Tunis. Increased food and clinical surveillance must be taken into consideration in Tunisia to identify putative infections sources.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; Microarray-based assay; PFGE; Puce à ADN; Tunis; iap.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Aged, 80 and over
  • Animals
  • Bacterial Proteins / genetics
  • Bacterial Typing Techniques / methods*
  • Cerebrospinal Fluid / microbiology
  • Cross Infection / epidemiology
  • Cross Infection / microbiology
  • DNA, Bacterial / analysis
  • Disease Outbreaks
  • Electrophoresis, Gel, Pulsed-Field
  • Female
  • Fishes / microbiology
  • Food Microbiology*
  • Food Supply / standards
  • Genes, Bacterial
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Lipoproteins / genetics
  • Listeria / classification
  • Listeria / genetics
  • Listeria / isolation & purification*
  • Listeriosis / epidemiology
  • Listeriosis / microbiology*
  • Male
  • Meat / microbiology
  • Oligonucleotide Array Sequence Analysis*
  • Pregnancy
  • Prevalence
  • Serotyping
  • Tunisia / epidemiology
  • Urban Health
  • Virulence / genetics


  • Bacterial Proteins
  • DNA, Bacterial
  • Lipoproteins
  • P60 protein, bacteria