Journal Article

Characteristics of induction of virulence factor expression by activated charcoal in <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i>

Svetlana Ermolaeva, Yurii Belyi and Igor Tartakovskii

in FEMS Microbiology Letters

Volume 174, issue 1, pages 137-141
Published in print May 1999 |
Published online January 2006 | e-ISSN: 1574-6968 | DOI:

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Activated charcoal has been previously shown to induce in vitro expression of virulence factors by Listeria monocytogenes. In trying to elucidate the nature of the charcoal action, we found that the treatment of brain heart infusion medium with activated charcoal followed by charcoal removal does not result in an increase of virulence factor expression. At the same time, the addition of fresh charcoal to the charcoal-treated medium induces expression, suggesting that the effect of activated charcoal cannot be explained only by changes in medium composition. In addition, we observed that activated charcoal induced expression of virulence factors even when L. monocytogenes was physically separated from charcoal particles by either a nitrocellulose membrane or a thin layer of agar. We propose that the interaction of charcoal with some listerial product(s) might be responsible for the effect observed.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; Listeriolysin; Lecithinase; Activated charcoal

Journal Article.  2239 words.  Illustrated.

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