A chemically defined minimal medium for Listeria monocytogenes has been developed by modification of Welshimer's medium. The growth factors required by L. monocytogenes Scott A are leucine, isoleucine, arginine, methionine, valine, cysteine (each at 100 mg/liter), riboflavin and biotin (each at 0.5 micrograms/ml), thiamine (1.0 micrograms/ml), and thioctic acid (0.005 micrograms/ml). Growth was stimulated by 20 micrograms of Fe3+ per ml as ferric citrate. Glucose (1%) and glutamine (600 mg/liter) are required as primary sources of carbon and nitrogen. Glucose could not be replaced by various organic acids or amino acids. Of several sugars tested, fructose, mannose, cellobiose, trehalose, maltose (weak), glycerol (weak), and the amino sugars glucosamine, N-acetylglucosamine, and N-acetylmuramic acid supported growth in the absence of glucose. Evidence was found that chitin and cell walls of starter bacteria (Lactococcus lactis) supported survival of L. monocytogenes, which suggests that the pathogen may obtain carbon and energy sources during colonization of some foods, such as cheeses, by assimilating bacteria or molds that are present.
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