- NATL INST INFECTIOUS DISEASES
A food-borne pathogen, Listeria monocytogenes serotype 4b, has been frequently isolated from patients with listeriosis, and numerous outbreaks of listeriosis are associated with this serotype. In the present study, we performed subtyping of L. monocytogenes serotype 4b strains on the basis of genetic analyses. Thirty-four isolates of serotype 4b were classified into 8 genotypes, namely genotypes 12, 15, 16, 17, 18, 23, 24, and 25, on the basis of the sequence for the partial iap gene. Genetic analyses revealed that genotype 16 and genotypes 24 and 25 belong to epidemic clone I (ECI) and ECII, respectively, which have been frequently associated with listeriosis outbreaks in the United States and Europe. The genotype isolated most frequently from retail meats in the Tokyo metropolitan area was genotype 12 (52%), followed by genotype 16 (29%), which belongs to ECI. We suggest that ECI is a common subtype of L. monocytogenes in retail meat in the area under investigation. On the other hand, ECII isolates were confirmed to be present in retail meat in Japan but were rare.
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