Association between a case study of asymptomatic ovine listerial mastitis and the contamination of soft cheese and cheese processing environment with listeria monocytogenes in portugal

Cristina M.B.S. Pintado, Kathie A. Grant, Robin Halford-Maw, Mike D. Hampton, Maria A.S.S. Ferreira, James McLauchlin

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

16 Citations (Scopus)

Abstract

For 5 months, the udders of milking ewes, raw ewe's milk, cheese, and the plant and environment of a cheese manufacturer in Portugal were investigated using standard methods for the presence of Listeria spp. An association between subclinical mastitis and Listeria monocytogenes in a single lactating sheep was investigated by visual inspection of udders for signs of inflammation, application of somatic cell counts, the California mastitis test, pH measurement to milk, and culture of L. monocytogenes and Staphylococcus spp. To track the routes of contamination by L. monocytogenes, 103 isolates were characterized by molecular serotyping and amplified fragment length polymorphism, and a selection was further tested by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. This study provides molecular and epidemiological evidence tracking the persistence of a single L. monocytogenes strain causing a subclinical udder infection without obvious inflammation in a single ewe. This infection was the likely source of contamination of raw milk that was subsequently used to produce unpasteurised milk cheese and resulted in a single strain of this bacterium colonizing the processing environment and the final cheese product.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)569-575
Number of pages7
JournalFoodborne pathogens and disease
Volume6
Issue number5
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jun 2009

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