Three multistate outbreaks between 2014 and 2016, involving case patients in and outside the United States, were linked to stone fruit, caramel apples, and packaged leafy green salad contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes singleton sequence type 382 (ST382), a serotype IVb-v1 clone with limited genomic divergence. Isolates from these outbreaks and other ST382 isolates not associated with these outbreaks were analyzed by whole-genome sequencing (WGS) analysis. The primary differences among ST382 strains were single nucleotide polymorphisms (SNPs). WGS analysis differentiated ST382 from a clonal complex 1 outbreak strain co-contaminating the caramel apples. WGS clustered food, environmental, and clinical isolates within each outbreak, and also differentiated among the three outbreak strains and epidemiologically unrelated ST382 isolates, which were indistinguishable by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. ST382 appeared to be an emerging clone that began to diverge from its ancestor approximately 32 years before 2016. We estimated that there was 1.29 nucleotide substitution per genome (2.94 Mbp) per year for this clone.
Chen, Y., Luo, Y., Pettengill, J., Timme, R., Melka, D., Doyle, M., … Strain, E. A. (2017). Singleton sequence type 382, an emerging clonal group of listeria monocytogenes associated with three multistate outbreaks linked to contaminated stone fruit, caramel apples, and leafy green salad. Journal of Clinical Microbiology, 55(3), 931–941. https://doi.org/10.1128/JCM.02140-16