Listeriosis Reference Service (LRS)

Health Canada, Ottawa, Ontario
What the facility does

Bacterial strain characterization (i.e. molecular typing) and bacterial identification

Area(s) of Expertise

Major goals of the Listeriosis Reference Service (LRS) include investigation of listeriosis cases and maintenance of a national collection of isolates. The LRS houses a comprehensive molecular epidemiological database of all isolates in Canada for use as a resource for outbreak investigations, research and other microbiological investigations. The pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE), ribotype and serological profiles (genotypic and phenotypic molecular fingerprints) are being established and stored for clinical, food, environmental, and possibly animal strains of L. monocytogenes. The LRS pursues research activities for investigation and implementation of other molecular methods for characterizing L. monocytogenes isolates. Other molecular-based methods, such as multiple loci variable number of tandem repeats analysis (MLVA) and DNA sequence-based typing schemes are being investigated on selected diversity sets.

The LRS participates in PulseNet Canada for real-time molecular surveillance for listeriosis, and utilizes PFGE typing for outbreak investigations. The molecular epidemiological data, timely coordination and exchange of information is used to help reduce the incidence of listeriosis in Canada.

Research Services
  • Provide access to the RiboPrinter;
  • Assist physicians and Provincial Departments of Health when foodborne listeriosis is suspected;
  • Examine suspect foods and clinical specimens submitted for analysis;
  • Rapidly alert responsible agencies when commercial foods are involved;
  • Maintain reference cultures of Listeriae; and
  • Liaise with centres that have similar interests and responsibilities in Canada and abroad.
Sectors of Application
  • Agriculture, animal science and food
  • Life sciences, pharmaceuticals and medical equipment

 

Name of specialized lab

Name of equipment in use

Description of function

D445

RiboPrinter

Ribotyping is a molecular technique that takes advantage of unique DNA sequences to differentiate strains of bacteria