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Listeria monocytogenes in low pH foods: an examination of the influence of food constituents on surv

Project Reference: 02-PG-031

Status: Completed

Commencement Date: October, 2002

Project Duration: 42 months


The ability to tolerate highly acidic environments enhances the potential for growth of Listeria monocytogenes in low pH foods and permits survival during gastric transit. One mechanism that the bacterium uses to survive under such conditions is the arginine deiminase system.

During the course of this project, the extent to which arginine and other food constituents play a role in the survival of Listeria monocytogenes in low pH foods was examined, and the role of these protective systems in determining the infectious dose of this important foodborne pathogen was investigated.


Principal Contractor(s):

Dr Colin Hill, University College Cork


Single supplier



The PhD thesis is available on request and can be accessed through University College Cork

Peer Reviews:

Ryan S, Begley M, Hill C, Gahan CG. (2010). “A five-gene stress survival islet (SSI-1) that contributes to the growth of Listeria Monocytogenes in suboptimal conditions”. J Appl Microbiol. 109(3):984-95.

Ryan S, Begley M, Gahan CGM* and Hill. (2009). “Molecular characterization of the arginine deiminase (ADI) system in Listeria Monocytogenes: regulation and role in acid tolerance”. Environmental Microbiology. 11(2):432-45.

Ryan S, Hill C and CGM Gahan*. (2008). “Acid stress responses in Listeria Monocytogenes”. Advances in Applied Microbiology. 65: 67-91.

Cotter PD, S Ryan, CGM Gahan, and C Hill. (2005). “Presence of GadD1 glutamate decarboxylase in selected Listeria Monocytogenes strains is associated with an ability to grow at low pH”. Applied and Environmental Microbiology. 71(6):2832-9.

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