Survival and biofilm formation of Listeria monocytogenes in simulated vaginal fluid: influence of pH and strain origin

Sandra F. Borges, Joana G. L. Silva, Paula C. M. Teixeira*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

30 Citations (Scopus)
17 Downloads

Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes, the agent responsible for listeriosis, can be transmitted from mother to fetus/neonates by vertical transmission, transplacentally or during passage through the birth canal. The purpose of this study was to investigate the survival and biofilm formation of L. monocytogenes (isolated from clinical cases or from food) in simulated vaginal fluid at different pH values (4.2, 5.5 and 6.5). The results demonstrated that this pathogen is inhibited by the normal vaginal pH, but may proliferate when it increases. Clinical strains were significantly more resistant to pH 4.2 than food isolates. Listeria monocytogenes survived and even grew at the higher pHs investigated, suggesting that fetus/neonates from women having increased vaginal pH values during pregnancy may be at a higher risk of listeriosis. All isolates tested were producers of biofilm at different pH values; however, L. monocytogenes produced higher quantities of biofilm in a nutrient-rich medium. No significant differences in biofilm production were detected between food and clinical isolates. As L. monocytogenes are biofilm producers, this increases the probability of occurrence of neonatal infection.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)315-320
Number of pages6
JournalFEMS Immunology and Medical Microbiology
Volume62
Issue number3
DOIs
Publication statusPublished - Aug 2011

Keywords

  • Biofilm
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Vaginal fluid
  • Vaginal pH

Fingerprint

Dive into the research topics of 'Survival and biofilm formation of Listeria monocytogenes in simulated vaginal fluid: influence of pH and strain origin'. Together they form a unique fingerprint.

Cite this