Listeria monocytogenes (Lm) can persist in food processing environments (FPEs), surviving environmental stresses and disinfectants. We described an intensive environmental monitoring plan performed in Central Italy and involving food producing plants (FPPs) and retail grocery stores (RSs). The aim of the study was to provide a snapshot of the Lm circulation in different FPEs during a severe listeriosis outbreak, using whole genome sequencing (WGS) to investigate the genetic diversity of the Lm isolated, evaluating their virulence and stress resistance profiles. A total of 1217 samples were collected in 86 FPEs with 12.0% of positive surfaces at FPPs level and 7.5% at RSs level; 133 Lm isolates were typed by multilocus sequencing typing (MLST) and core genome MLST (cgMLST). Clonal complex (CC) 121 (25.6%), CC9 (22.6%), CC1 (11.3%), CC3 (10.5%), CC191 (4.5%), CC7 (4.5%) and CC31 (3.8%) were the most frequent MLST clones. Among the 26 cgMLST clusters obtained,...

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