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Listeria’s resistance to disinfectants

Prevention of listeriosis relies on killing the causative agent, normally the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes, in dairies and other food-processing facilities. A number of disinfectants are used for this purpose, most often quaternary ammonium compounds such as benzalkonium chloride (BC). Unfortunately, however, many strains of listeria seem to be developing resistance to these agents, although the underlying mechanisms have remained obscure.

In any case our results show that listeria can acquire new genetic material from other bacteria – it is thus important to ensure thorough disinfecting of food-processing facilities to prevent reservoirs of resistant bacteria building up and transferring their resistance to listeria.”

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