Veterinary World

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Research (Published online: 09-10-2014)

6. Characterization of virulent Listeria monocytogenes isolates recovered from ready-to-eat meat products and consumers in Cairo, Egypt - Maysa A. I. Awadallah and Iman I. A. Suelam

Veterinary World, 7(10): 788-793



   doi: 10.14202/vetworld.2014.788-793



Maysa A. I. Awadallah: Department of Zoonoses, Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt;

Iman I. A. Suelam: Veterinary Hospital,Faculty of Veterinary Medicine, Zagazig University, Zagazig, Egypt;


Received: 30-06-2014, Revised: 01-09-2014, Accepted: 05-09-2014, Published online: 08-10-2014


Corresponding author: Maysa A. I. Awadallah, e-mail:

Aim: This study aimed to investigate the occurrence of some virulence genes distributed in Listeria monocytogenes isolated from ready-to-eat (RTE) meat products and consumers in Cairo province, Egypt.

Materials and Methods: A total of 120 beef luncheon, chicken luncheon and frankfurter beef (40 samples, each) were collected from 10 different local shops situated in Al-salam city, Cairo province, Egypt. Stool samples were collected from 40 people who had the habit of consuming RTE meat. The suspected L. monocytogenes isolates were subjected to a multiplex polymerase chain reaction (PCR) for rapid speciation and virulence determination using primers specific for inIA, inIC, and inIJ genes.

Results: Culture examination of all samples on Oxford media revealed presence of colonies characteristic to L. monocytogenes in 6 beef luncheon (15%), 4 chicken luncheon (10%), 1 frankfurter beef (2.5%) and 1 human stool (2.5%) samples. Species identity of L. monocytogenes was verified through the amplification of a 800 bp fragment with inIA primers in 2 out of 6 culture isolates from beef luncheon (5%), and 1 out 4 culture isolates from chicken luncheon (2.5%) samples. Statistical analysis revealed no significant difference between the occurrence of L. monocytogenes in different food samples examined (p>0.05). The virulence of these strains was ascertained by the presence of 517 bp and 238 bp fragments of inIC and inIJ genes, respectively in the isolates that contained the 800 bp fragment. The culture isolates obtained from one frankfurter beef sample, and one human stool sample were found negative by multiplex PCR for the presence of L. monocytogenes and its virulence specific genes.

Conclusion: It could be concluded that L. monocytogenes are circulating in beef and chicken luncheon sold in Cairo, Egypt. Multiplex PCR is reliable for confirmation of L. monocytogenes. This study suggests the implementation of hygienic measures at all levels from production to consumption in order to improve food safety. Furthermore, authors recommended consumption of beef frankfurter or any RTE meat sold in their original intact packing due to low level of contamination.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes,, consumers, ready-to-eat meat, speciation and virulence determination.

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