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Volume 22, Number 4—April 2016
Etymologia

Etymologia: Listeria

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Listeria [lis-teʹre-ə]

A genus of small, gram-positive, rods, Listeria was first isolated by Murray in 1924 as Bacterium monocytogenes. In 1927, Pirie proposed the genus Listerella in honor of British surgeon Sir Joseph Lister (1827–1912), an early advocate of antiseptic surgery. It was not until 1939 that Pirie realized that this genus had already been taken by a slime mold (also named in honor of Lister, by Jahn in 1906). In 1940, he proposed the alternative name Listeria. The mouthwash Listerine was also named after Lister, in 1879 by Lawrence and Bosch, when it was marketed as a surgical antiseptic.

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References

  1. Hof  H. History and epidemiology of listeriosis. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2003;35:199202. DOIPubMed
  2. Pirie  JH. Listeria: change of name for a genus bacteria. Nature. 1940;145:264. DOI

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Cite This Article

DOI: 10.3201/eid2204.et2204

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Table of Contents – Volume 22, Number 4—April 2016

Page created: March 15, 2016
Page updated: March 15, 2016
Page reviewed: March 15, 2016
The conclusions, findings, and opinions expressed by authors contributing to this journal do not necessarily reflect the official position of the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services, the Public Health Service, the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, or the authors' affiliated institutions. Use of trade names is for identification only and does not imply endorsement by any of the groups named above.
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