Research Alert

Listeriosis is a dangerous foodborne illness, caused by eating food contaminated with the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. An estimated 1,600 people get listeriosis each year, and about 260 die. Pregnant women are 18 times more likely to get listeriosis than other healthy adults. Adults 65 and older and people with weakened immune systems who are infected with listeriosis can develop severe infections of the bloodstream leading to sepsis or meningitis. 

To uncover the most common food sources of the listeria-causing bacteria, a team of scientists at the University of Maryland combined genome sequencing with machine learning. Their analysis showed that the highest percentage of listeria cases come from eating contaminated fruits (32.5 percent), followed by vegetables (18.8 percent), dairy (17.5 percent), leafy greens (14.3 percent), meat (9.7 percent), and poultry (4.6 percent).

This research, "Evaluating Food Source Attribution Of Listeria Monocytogenes Using Machine Learning Approaches", will be presented on Dec. 9 at 2:40PM EST at the SRA Annual Meeting