L. monocytogenes are facultative intracellular bacterial pathogens that cause food borne infections in humans. Very little is known about the gastrointestinal phase of listeriosis due to the lack of a small animal model that closely mimics human disease. This paper describes a novel mouse model for oral transmission of L. monocytogenes. Using this model, mice fed L. monocytogenes-contaminated bread have a discrete phase of gastrointestinal infection, followed by varying degrees of systemic spread in susceptible (BALB/c/By/J) or resistant (C57BL/6) mouse strains. During the later stages of the infection, dissemination to the gall bladder and brain is observed. The food borne model of listeriosis is highly reproducible, does not require specialized skills, and can be used with a wide variety of bacterial isolates and laboratory mouse strains. As such, it is the ideal model to study both virulence strategies used by L. monocytogenes to promote intestinal colonization, as well as the host response to invasive food borne bacterial infection.
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This work was supported by grants from the National Institutes of Health (AI079442 and AI091918) awarded to S.E.F.D.
Bou Ghanem, Elsa N.; Myers-Morales, Tanya; Jones, Grant S.; and D'Orazio, Sarah E. F., "Oral Transmission of Listeria Monocytogenes in Mice via Ingestion of Contaminated Food" (2013). Microbiology, Immunology, and Molecular Genetics Faculty Publications. 71.