Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen that can cause febrile gastroenteritis in healthy subjects and systemic infections in immunocompromised individuals. Despite the high prevalence of L. monocytogenes in the environment and frequent contamination of uncooked meat and poultry products, infections with this pathogen are relatively uncommon, suggesting that protective defenses in the general population are effective. In the mammalian gastrointestinal tract, a variety of defense mechanisms prevent L. monocytogenes growth, epithelial penetration and systemic dissemination. Among these defenses, colonization resistance mediated by the gut microbiota is crucial in protection against a range of intestinal pathogens, including L. monocytogenes. Here we review defined mechanisms of defense against L. monocytogenes in the lumen of the gastro-intestinal tract, with particular emphasis on protection conferred by the autochthonous microbiota. We suggest that selected probiotic species derived from the microbiota may be developed for eventual clinical use to enhance resistance against L. monocytogenes infections.
Becattini, S., & Pamer, E. (2017). Multifaceted Defense against Listeria monocytogenes in the Gastro-Intestinal Lumen. Pathogens, 7(1), 1. https://doi.org/10.3390/pathogens7010001