Wednesday, April 20, 2016

New technique helps scientists study listeria

Extension Associate II
Agricultural Communications

STARKVILLE, Miss. -- Researchers at the Mississippi State University College of Veterinary Medicine pioneered a technique that can help advance the study of one of the deadliest foodborne bacteria in the United States.
Listeria monocytogenes, the bacterium that causes listeriosis, ranks No. 3 among the top five domestically acquired foodborne pathogens that cause death, according to 2011 estimates by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
MSU researchers developed a faster, more efficient method of performing genetic studies of listeria, which will help scientists worldwide find ways to better control the pathogen and treat those who become ill from the bacterium.
“The study of these bacteria is important because listeria can survive most of the sanitation procedures and conditions that kill other foodborne bacteria,” said Dr. Mark Lawrence, a professor in the Department of Basic Sciences at the MSU College of Veterinary Medicine. “We know it can grow at refrigeration temperatures and can live in high and low acidity. It has a great ability to adapt.