Distribution of antimicrobial resistance among clinical and food Listeria monocytogenes isolated in Moscow in 2019–2021

Clinical Microbiology and Antimicrobial Chemotherapy. 2022; 24(2):156-164

Original Article


To determine the current state-of-art of acquired resistance to antimicrobial drugs among L. monocytogenes strains associated with listeriosis in humans and food contamination in Moscow.

Materials and Methods.

We used 39 L. monocytogenes strains isolated in Moscow in 2019–2021 from clinical material (n = 24) and food (n = 15). Resistance to 12 antibiotics of the first and second lines of defense was studied using disk-diffusion method. The parameters recommended for L. monocytogenes were used to interpret the results; in the absence of recommendations for L. monocytogenes, the criteria for Staphylococcus aureus and/or Enterococcus spp. were used.


All strains were susceptible to ampicillin, benzylpenicillin, erythromycin, vancomycin, imipenem, linezolid, and the amoxicillin/clavulanic acid. Resistance was observed to gentamicin (23%) as well as to meropenem, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and ciprofloxacin (5%, 74% and 28% of strains, respectively). A total of 15 strains with multiple antibiotic resistance were identified (13 and 2 isolates were resistant to three and four antibiotics, respectively). Simultaneous resistance to trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin was observed in 9 strains, 6 strains were resistant to gentamicin and trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, including 3 strains – to gentamicin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, levofloxacin, and 2 strains – to gentamicin, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole, ciprofloxacin. Comparison of the growth inhibition zones by ampicillin and benzylpenicillin in the studied strains with historical data on the strains isolated in Russia in 1950–1980 showed a significant downward shift in the size of growth inhibition zones. Comparison of the distribution of strains with different diameters of growth inhibition zones depending on the source of isolation did not show significant differences between clinical strains and strains of food origin isolated in 2019–2021.


A wide spread of acquired resistance was shown among L. monocytogenes strains of clinical and food origin isolated in Moscow in 2019–2021. Despite the fact that all strains were susceptible to penicillins, the distribution of growth inhibition zone diameters showed a significant shift towards decreasing sensitivity to ampicillin and benzylpenicillin in strains isolated in 2019–2021 compared with L. monocytogenes strains isolated in Russia before 1980.

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