Listeria spp

The Pathogen

Listeria innocua are rod-shaped, Gram-positive, non-spore-forming bacteria of the Listeria genus. Species of Listeria are mainly found in the soil, but are also known to be especially harmful as food-borne pathogens. This is true of Listeria monocytogenes, the causative agent of Listeriosis in humans and animals.

Listeriosis is a virulent and highly lethal disease caused by food poisoning. Those at greatest risk for invasive listeriosis are immunocompromised individuals, elderly, pregnant women and neonates. According to the CDC, pregnant women are approximately 20 times more likely than other healthy adults to contract the illness.

The Problem

The ability of Listeria monocytogenes to resist food-processing conditions and refrigeration temperatures makes it a serious threat to public health. In the United States, an estimated 1,600 persons become seriously ill with listeriosis each year. Of these, 260 die. When listeric meningitis occurs, the overall mortality may reach 70 percent in individuals, 80 percent in perinatal infections, and greater than 80 percent in neonatal infection.

Current methods for analysis of Listeria in food are complex and time-consuming, taking a much as 32 hours to return results with conventional methods (source:USDA, Food Safety Inspection Services FSIS). It can take as many as seven days to detect Listeria monocytogenes once all the follow-up tests are completed. Even though simpler and faster confirmation can be received by specific nonradiolabled DNA probes, positive analysis still takes at least 48 hours to detect Listeria monocytogenes. In addition, this type of DNA analysis does not prove confirmation of viable microorganisms.

The NanoLogix Solution - Live-threat microorganism detection in 5 hours

With such a high mortality rate for Listeria monocytogenes, rapid detection of viable microorganisms is vital to ensuring public health. NanoLogix technology provides rapid detection of live-cell Listeria innocua bacterica in just 5 hours. This is 4.8 times faster than current methods. Studies are currently underway to determine the exact speed NanoLogix technology can detect Listeria monocytogenes.