Listeria monocytogenes is a species of disease-causing bacteria. The bacteria causes listeriosis, which is a food infection. The disease is very risk when a person is infected. The bacteria can survive in an area where there are present and the absence of oxygen. Morphologically, listeria is a gram-positive and it is a rod-shaped organism. When observed under the microscope, the bacteria appear like a chain that is made of small rod-shaped cells (Buchanan et al., 2017).
Listeria monocytogenes have heterotrophic metabolism whereby they oxidize organic products to produce energy. In food products, listeria uses carbon as its organic compound to produce energy (Maury et al., 2016). Additionally, the bacteria have assimilatory reactions that help to produce energy. The bacteria can grow in various environmental conditions. Listeria can grow in the presence and absence of oxygen. Additionally, it can grow under cold temperature ad warm temperature up to 24 degrees (Buchanan et al., 2017). Growth is high, especially where the environment is wet.
The bacteria is a foodborne pathogen that affects central nervous system gastroenteritis, and septicemia in both ruminants and people. These bacteria causing diseases are grouped in I and II strains (Maury et al., 2016). The variation between the lineages I and II is because of a single nucleotide. Genes in the bacteria have an encoded protein
Description of the Disease
The disease was first discovered in 1924 by EGD Murray (Moura, 2017). Murray established the investigation after six people died after consuming the rabbit. When Murray published in 1926 but called it Bacterium monocytogenes (Moura, 2017). However, the name was changed in 1940 by Harvey Pirie (Buchanan et al., 2017). In 1981, research was conducted to show that the bacterial is foodborne (Maury et al., 2016). The disease was also associated with several symptoms such as nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea.
Listeria monocytogenes are diagnosed in a laboratory through bacterial culture (Moura, 2017). When culturing, bacteria are collected from body tissue or fluid, for instance, blood. Additionally, the bacteria are isolated during the diagnosis (Buchanan et al., 2017). Those in the laboratory identify the organism by reviewing its morphological and biochemical traits such as rod shape.
Epidemiology of the Disease
Normally, the bacterial attack all people. However, there are some groups of individuals who are at high risk of getting an infection (Maury et al., 2016). For instance, women, aged people, newborns, persons with weak immune have a high tendency of getting the disease.
There are several ways in which the disease can be transmitted from one organism to another. First, the bacterial can be found on water and soil which can use as the transfer agents (Buchanan et al., 2017). The bacteria may be transmitted by an animal, even if it is not infested. Additionally, the bacteria may be spread when a person consumes contaminated food materials such as vegetables (Maury et al., 2016).
Human has behaviors which facilitate the spread of the bacteria. First, humans may consumer dirty food which is infested by bacteria. Additionally, they may consumer untreated water which is contaminated by listeria (Buchanan et al., 2017). Additionally, if care is not taken, a mother may spread the bacteria to a newborn during birth or pregnancy period.
Control of the Pathogen
A person can deploy various methods to prevent the spread of diseases such as avoiding eating raw and undercooked food products. Before, cooking and eating, a person should ensure they wash their hands thoroughly with soap for about twenty seconds. Additionally, people may deploy vaccination as a technique for preventing listeriosis (Buchanan et al., 2017). At health care, children may be vaccinated to ensure their immune systems are improved. When moving to those areas where bacterial are highly experience a person may be vaccinated. Pregnant women should ensure their observe hygiene to avoid getting the infection which may expose the risk to the fetus (Maury et al., 2016).
Once a person has been infested by the disease, a person is required to take antibiotics. Pregnant women are required to take the antibodies to prevent fetus or a newborn child from getting the bacteria. Normally, a baby who already listeriosis is given the same medicine as the adult (Maury et al., 2016). Based on the level of infection, several antibodies can be integrated to improve their performance (Buchanan et al., 2017). If a person does not take effective treatment, the disease leads to death. This effect is highly experienced among elder people or has other health problems (Moura, 2017).
There are various approaches that have been used to control the spread of the infection. Since is a foodborne disease, people are encouraged to cook thoroughly raw food, especially those materials which are gotten from animals such as beef and pork (Maury et al., 2016). Before cooking, people are encouraged to wash raw vegetables to avoid consuming products that have bacteria. After cooking, a person is insisted on a separate ready meal from uncooked materials. This action prevents the bacteria from moving from the infested food to a cooked meal. Before cooking, cook show ensures they wash hands and other cooking materials effective to avoid spreading the bacteria (Buchanan et al., 2017). Additionally, those individuals who are highly exposed to the risk of the disease are required to avoid cheeses. Pregnant women should visit a clinic frequency for some checkup to ensure both the infant and mother are safe.
Buchanan, R. L., Gorris, L. G., Hayman, M. M., Jackson, T. C., & Whiting, R. C. (2017). A review of Listeria monocytogenes: an update on outbreaks, virulence, dose-response, ecology, and risk assessments. Food Control, 75, 1-13. Retrieved from https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/S0956713516306892.
Maury, M. M., Tsai, Y. H., Charlier, C., Touchon, M., Chenal-Francisque, V., Leclercq, A., & Disson, O. (2016). Uncovering Listeria monocytogenes hypervirulence by harnessing its biodiversity. Nature genetics, 48(3), 308. Retrieved from https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4768348/.
Moura, A., Criscuolo, A., Pouseele, H., Maury, M. M., Leclercq, A., Tarr, C., & Larsonneur, E. (2017). Whole genome-based population biology and epidemiological surveillance of Listeria monocytogenes. Nature microbiology, 2(2), 16185. Retrieved from https://hal-pasteur.archives-ouvertes.fr/pasteur-01415883/document.
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