Submitted to: Meeting Abstract
Publication Type: Abstract Only
Publication Acceptance Date: 5/31/2013
Publication Date: 5/31/2013
Citation: Ward, T.J. 2013. Culture Collections and Public Health Research. Meeting Abstract.
Technical Abstract: Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen capable of causing serious invasive illness in humans and other animals, and a leading cause of food recalls. The establishment and growth of a research collection of Listeria isolates has been critical in developing an evolutionary genetic framework, novel subtyping tools, and information on subtype-specific niche adaptation required to advance understanding of Listeria monocytogenes biology, and to improve outbreak detection, source tracking, epidemiological investigation, and risk-based monitoring of this important foodborne pathogen. The ARS Culture Collection maintains nearly 2,000 strains of Listeria monocytogenes representing the genetic, phenotypic, and ecological diversity of this species. The molecular subtyping tools and data on L. monocytogenes diversity developed by scientists at the ARS Culture Collection have been used to support CDC, USDA-FSIS, and other public health agencies in outbreak investigations and in the development of risk-based sampling programs designed to reduce the public health and economic burdens imposed by this pathogen. Large and diverse collections of microbial cultures and associated metadata are critical to the growing number of large-scale genome sequencing projects. Contributions of the ARS Culture Collection to the 100K Pathogen Genome Project and the establishment of a reference database of whole genome sequences for use in outbreak investigations and source-tracking efforts will be highlighted.