Joint ECDC-EFSA-EURL Lm report : european monitoring of Listeria monocytogenes isolated from food and clinical cases over 2 years

The 'European Listeria Typing Exercise’ (ELiTE) is a collaborative study initiated in 2010 as a multi-sectorial, multi-centre exercise between led by ECDC, in association with EFSA, the EURL Lm, National Public Health Institutes, National Public Health Reference Laboratories, National Food Safety Authorities, food National Reference Laboratories for L. monocytogenes and involving indirectly, local and regional public health and food safety authorities. This study enabled the molecular characterisation of the strains isolated from either human cases or food during the baseline survey conducted over 2010 and 2011 by EFSA and DG SANTE. 3 categories of ready-to-eat food had been sampled: packaged hot or cold smoked or ‘gravad’ (cured) fish, soft or semi-soft cheeses, and packaged heat-treated meat products.

In the frame of this study, EURL Lm  had in particular characterised the food strains for several EU Member States, had collected the characterisation and associated data of all the strains from food origin, and had curated their PFGE profiles. Strain typing was performed by PFGE and a correspondence with MSLT clonal complexes was implemented.

It was the 1st time that simultaneous characterisation of strains from human and food was conducted at European level to investigate possible combined clusters (human/food).

We invite you to read the "ECDC news story" and the joint report.