Casti, Daniele (2018) Prevenzione della Listeriosi: studio della contaminazione negli alimenti di origine animale e sorveglianza attiva in strutture sanitarie. Doctoral Thesis.
Listeria monocytogenes is the causative agent of a serious foodborne bacterial disease called listeriosis. Symptoms could be limited to the gastrointestinal tract or cause a severe invasive illness causing meningitis, abortion, septicemia and death. The main objective of this work was to put in place a hospital network surveillance system in order conduct an epidemiological monitoring of clinical cases of foodborne human listeriosis in Northern Sardinia. The epidemiologic link between listeriosis and contaminated food was also investigated along with the main phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of isolates of human or food origin. The research activities included the study of the immune profile of patients with clinical listeriosis and the relationship with the consumption of different kind of food (cheeses and different categories of RTE food) and food processing environments. The results obtained showed a great prevalence of contamination of food although most of the time it was compliant with the legal limits established by EC. However, it is of particular concern the possible ingestion of these foods, mainly RTE, by high-risk categories of consumers. The data obtained represent an important tool for understanding the impact of L. monocytogenes contamination for human infection and preventing the spreading of the disease. The development of active surveillance programs is essential to characterize the circulating strains and their potential pathogenicity for human.
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