Enrichment ecology of Listeria monocytogenes - towards a more rapid enrichment‐based detection method
Listeria monocytogenes is an important food pathogen that can cause serious illness in the susceptible population. To verify that food products do not contain higher levels of L. monocytogenes than is allowed by European law, food products are routinely tested on the presence of this pathogen. Because L. monocytogenes can be present in food at very low numbers, samples need to be enriched to increase the amount of pathogen before it can be detected. The current enrichment-based detection protocol is however a time‐consuming and labour‐intensive process that can take up to 7 days. In this thesis we studied the ecology of L. monocytogenes during enrichment to optimize the detection method from food to lead to faster results. Next to a better understanding of the behaviour during enrichment, we combined enrichment with a molecular detection method to decrease the detection time from a maximum of 7 days to 50 hours.