Original Article

Antimicrobial Susceptibility, Serotyping, and Molecular Characterization of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Listeria monocytogenes Isolated from Pregnant Women with a History of Abortion


Background: Listeria monocytogenes show high mortality among pregnant women and newborns. This study aimed to detect L. monocytogenes in pregnant women with a history of abortion and assess the serotypes, antibiotic susceptibility patterns, and its resistance genes.

Methods: Overall, 400 vaginal swabs were taken from pregnant women with a history of abortion in the past few years in a tertiary care hospital in Tehran, Iran, during 2015-2018. Antibiotics susceptibility to a panel of 10 antibiotics was determined using the standard disk diffusion method and the isolates serotyped by the agglutination method. The antimicrobial-resistant isolates were also screened for the presence of tetM, ermB and dfrD genes by PCR.

Results: Overall, 22 L. monocytogenes isolates were identified. High rates of resistance were observed for trimethoprim (50%; n=11), sulphamethoxazole (50%; n=11), tetracycline (45.45%; n=10) and gentamicin (36.36%; n=8). From 22 L. monocytogenes isolates, 13 (59.10 %), 5 (22.73%), 3 (13.63%) and 1 (4.54%) belonged to serotypes 4b, 1/2a, 1/2b, and 3c, respectively. The genetic determinant tetM was detected in 70% of the tetracycline-resistant isolates. Out of 11 trimethoprim-resistant isolates, 27.27% isolates contained dfrD. Moreover, the ermB gene was found in 83.33% of the erythromycin-resistant isolates.

Conclusion: Ampicillin and partly penicillin consider to be suitable antimicrobial agents to treat human listeriosis. Moreover, due to resistance against many antibiotics, it is necessary to continue monitoring and managing antimicrobial resistance.

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IssueVol 50 No 1 (2021) QRcode
SectionOriginal Article(s)
DOI https://doi.org/10.18502/ijph.v50i1.5084
Listeria monocytogenes Genes Pregnant women

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HEIDARZADEH S, POURMAND MR, HASANVAND S, PIRJANI R, AFSHAR D, NOORI M, SOLTAN DALLAL MM. Antimicrobial Susceptibility, Serotyping, and Molecular Characterization of Antibiotic Resistance Genes in Listeria monocytogenes Isolated from Pregnant Women with a History of Abortion. Iran J Public Health. 2020;50(1):170-179.