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[Distribution of Listeria monocytogenes serotypes isolated from foods, Colombia, 2000-2009].

INTRODUCTION: Listeria monocytogenes is an intracellular, opportunistic pathogen which can cause severe infections such as meningitis, encephalitis and bacteremia. It can also cause abortions in human beings. Foods are the vehicle for infection of the host. Serotypification has discriminated 13 serotypes: 1/2a,1/2b, 1/2c, 3a, 3b, 3c, 4a, 4ab, 4b, 4c, 4d, 4e, 7. 4b is the cause of the majority of cases of listeriosis in the world.

OBJECTIVE: The frequency of serotypes of L. monocytogenes was determined in bacteria isolated from foods in Colombia.

MATERIALS AND METHODS: The study is descriptive and retrospective. Over a 10-year period, 2000-2009, 1,599 isolates were examined. All were confirmed as Listeria monocytogenes and other strains of Listeria, using biochemical tests recommended by the Food and Drug Administration (USA) and API Listeria and serotyped using the Seeliger and Höhne method.

RESULTS: Of the 1,599 isolates, 1,424 were confirmed as L. monocytogenes. Serotypes identified were: 1/2a, 135 (9.5%); 1/2b, 154 (10.8%); 1/2c, 68 (4.8%); 3a, 4 (0.3%); 3b, 29 (2.0%); 3c, 2 (0.1%); 4a, 44 (3.1%); 4b, 820 (57.6%); 4c, 6 (0.4%); 4d- 4e, 140 (9.8%); 4e, 17 (1.2%); 7, 2 (0.1%); not susceptible of serotypification, three cases, (0.2%). Isolates came mainly from the Capital District of Bogotá, 1,035 (73%); from Antioquia 199 (14%), from Nariño, 109 (8%); from Valle del Cauca 50 (3,5%) and from other provinces 33 (2.3%).

CONCLUSION: Of the analyzed isolates, 1,424 (89%) belonged to L. monocytogenes, showing a good quality in isolation and identification. Most of these isolates belonged to serotype 4b, 820 (57.6%), a highly virulent serotype. Obligatory surveillance of this microorganism is recommended.

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