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Genomic and Phenotypic Diversity of Listeria monocytogenes Causing Pregnancy-Associated Listeriosis from Zhejiang Province, China, 2016–2018

Authors Li A, Xu H, Li X, Ye H, Shan D, Feng N, Qian Y, Huang X, Hao D, Zhang X, Zhu B, Zheng B

Received 8 January 2020

Accepted for publication 7 April 2020

Published 23 April 2020 Volume 2020:13 Pages 1179—1184


Checked for plagiarism Yes

Review by Single anonymous peer review

Peer reviewer comments 3

Editor who approved publication: Professor Suresh Antony

Aiyun Li,1,* Hao Xu,2,* Xiaoyu Li,3 Hong Ye,1 Donghao Shan,1 Nan Feng,1 Yaqi Qian,1 Xiangzhe Huang,1 Dongjie Hao,1 Xiaoxiao Zhang,1 Bo Zhu,1 Beiwen Zheng2

1Department of Clinical Medicine, The Women’s Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 2State Key Laboratory for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Disease, Collaborative Innovation Center for Diagnosis and Treatment of Infectious Diseases, The First Affiliated Hospital, College of Medicine, Zhejiang University, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China; 3Department of Clinical Medicine, Hangzhou Children’s Hospital, Hangzhou, People’s Republic of China

*These authors contributed equally to this work

Correspondence: Beiwen Zheng; Bo Zhu Email;

Introduction: There are few investigations describing the pregnancy-associated listeriosis in China, and the molecular characteristics of Listeria monocytogenes causing such infections remain largely unknown. We aim to investigate the phenotypic and genomic profiles of pregnancy-associated L. monocytogenes isolates and their association with isolates recovered from human and non-human in China.
Materials and Methods: In this study, we conducted a 3-year surveillance of listeriosis in a women’s hospital in Zhejiang province, using whole genome sequencing and bioinformatics tools.
Results: From 2016 to 2018, we identified 13 clinical L. monocytogenes isolates. Among these pregnancy-associated isolates, we found seven sequence types (STs), with the prevalent STs of ST87 and ST7. Serotyping divided the strains into four serotypes, including serotype 1/2a, 1/2b, 3a, and 4b. Antimicrobial resistance testing showed that all the isolates were susceptible to 10 antibiotics. Comparative genomics analysis clearly classified our genome collection into four distinct evolutionary lineages with most isolates grouping into lineages I and II. Interestingly, we found three pairs of isolates with high identity, although no evident epidemiological association was observed.
Conclusion: This study reports for the first time the surveillance of pregnancy-associated listeriosis in Zhejiang province, China, which indicates that the infection rate is low in this region. Our findings provide insight into the evolution and genetic diversity of pregnancy-associated L. monocytogenes from Zhejiang province. Additional investigations involving more human and non-human isolates with a “one health” strategy are needed for prediction of the listeriosis risk associated with a typical prevalent clone in Zhejiang province, such as ST87.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenses, pregnancy-associated, ST87, whole genome sequencing, comparative genomics analysis

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