New publication (25-05-2020)

Source: Wagner EM

In this paper, published in the “International Journal of Food Microbiology”, we identified biofilm hotspots in a meat processing environment. We detected multi-species biofilms composed of spoilage bacteria in 9.3 % sites. 1

Press 2



Welcome (13-01-2020)

We welcome Antonio Lourenço, who has arrived through a Marie Curie Skłodowska Fellowship. His research will focus on biofilms in dairies.



PhD defense Eva Wagner (3-10-2019)

Eva Wagner (former Harter) defended her PhD thesis entitled “The role of hypervariable genetic hotspots in stress response and virulence of Listeria monocytogenes.” with excellent success. Congratulations- we are very proud of you.



New publication (23-07-2019)


In this paper, published in “Frontiers in Microbiology”, we describe the role of novel internalins in the pathogenicity of the quargel cheese outbreak Listeria monocytogenes strain, which was responsible for 14 listeriosis cases including 5 fatalities. 4


New colleague (01-04-2019)


We welcome Sarah Thalguter in our team. She will support the research activities on antibiotic resistance in frame of the COMBIS project, which is incorporated in the Austrian competence centre FFoQSI.



Dr. Hermann-Zittmayr-Award (28-03-2019)


Kathrin Rychli received the Dr. Hermann-Zittmayr-Award for her scientific research on Listeria monocytogenes in frame of the 73rd day of the cooperative association of Upper Austria.



Successful PhD defensio (07-03-2019)


Andrea Schabauer successfully defended her PhD thesis entitled "Udder health and treatment:Bovine mastitis, antimicrobial resistance and alternative antimicrobial substances. Congratulations to Andrea. We wish her all the best for the future!



Award (21.11.2018)

Luminita Ciolacu received the Award for the” Best Young Scientist of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 2018. Category: third-part funding, non-clinical.



Listeria on broadcast (30.10.2018)


Eva Harter has presented our research on Listeria monocytogenes and stress response on the science radio program of radio NJOY in frame of the Pitch-Challenge-2018. 9


Two new publications on bovine mastitis isolates and their antibiotic resistance profile (29.10.2018) 


The first paper describes a longitudinal study of dairy farms and mastitis isolates with their antibiotic resistance profile in Upper Austria and was published in the Berliner und Münchener Tierärztliche Wochenschrift ( 11).


In the second paper, published in the journal of Veterinary Microbiology, we investigated the relationship between mastitis severity, the occurring pathogen and the antibiotic resistant profile investigating 3020 quarter milk samples from 647 dairy cows on 166 Austrian farms, sampled over a one-year period ( 12).


New Paper in “Frontiers in Veterinary Science” (11-07-2018)

This paper describes the potential use of two antimicrobial compounds gentisaldehyde and 2,3-dihydroxybenzaldehyde as antiseptics to prevent bovine mastitis and to reduce the use of antibiotics in dairy cows.

Link 13


Eva M Wagner - new PhD student (01.11.2017)


We welcome Eva M Wagner as a new PhD student in our team. Eva is part of the Austrian competence centre FFoQSI. Her PhD thesis will focus on biofilms in the food producing environment.


New Publication in „Applied and Environmental Microbiology“ (08-08-2017)

The foodborne pathogen Listeria monocytogenes is able to survive a variety of stress conditions leading to the colonization of different niches like the food processing environment. In this study we characterized a new stress survival islet (SSI-2), being involved in survival under alkaline and oxidative stress conditions, which are routinely encountered in food processing environments. SSI-2 is predominately present in strains of sequence type 121, which are highly abundant and known to persist in food processing environments.

Publication 15

Press release Vetmeduni Vienna  16

Press release APA 17

Press release derstandard 18


Wirtschaftskammerpreis for Luminita Ciolacu (18-07-2017)

Luminita Ciolacu won the “Wirtschaftskammerpreis 2017” with the project entitled “The influence of food on the virulence of Listeria monocytogenes”. Congratulations!


Presentation at the FEMS in Valencia, Spain (10.-13.07.2017)

Luminita Ciolacu (selected talk) and Eva Harter (poster) have successfully presented our work at the FEMS 2017 congress in Valencia, Spain, the greatest microbiology congress in Europe with 2700 delegates. 


New publication in PlosOne (01-05-2017)

In this work we analyzed the genome of 70 Listeria monocytogenes strains of sequence type 121 deriving from 16 different countries, different years of isolation, and different origins-including food, animal and human ST121 isolates. All ST121 genomes show a high degree of conservation. The main differences between the strains were found in prophages. We furthermore identified a number of candidate genes possibly involved in survival of ST121 L. monocytogenes strains in food and food production environments. This work was performed in the frame of a FWF project in collaboration with Stephan Schmitz-Esser from the Iowa State University, USA.

“Comparative genomics of human and non-human Listeria monocytogenes sequence type 121 strains. “PLoS One. 2017 May 4;12(5):e0176857. doi: 10.1371/journal.pone.0176857.


New Publication in “Microbiological Research” (20.01.2016)

In this study we investigated effect of butyrate ranging from low to high, potentially toxic concentrations on biomass and antimicrobial activity of the fungus Penicillium restrictum. Butyrate at high concentrations significantly reduced the fungal biomass, whereas at low concentration we detected high antimicrobial activity. We isolated three antimicrobial active compounds, active against Staphylococcus aureus from P. restrictum cell extract: adenine, hypoxanthine and adenosine. Furthermore we found that butyrate influences the intracellular level of the adenine nucleoside derivate cAMP, an important signalling molecule in fungi and various organisms.

Link to paper 19


2 new colleagues

We welcome two new colleagues: Luminita Ciolacu (postdoc), who will replace Kathrin during her maternity leave and the new master student Daniela Fritz. Their research will mainly focus on the effect of the food matrices on the pathogenicity of Listeria monocytogenes.



Kathrin Rychli received the “Microbial Genomics Most Promising Science Prize” for the presentation of the poster: “ Listeria monocytogenes of sequence type 121 harbor specific adaptations supporting persistence in food production plant” at the Conference “Problems of Listeriosis ISOPOL XIX, in Paris, France.


New Paper in "Frontiers in Microbiology“ (12.04.2016)

One of the biggest challenges in public health is the rising number of antibiotic resistant pathogens and the lack of novel antibiotics. Christoph Zutz, Kathrin Rychli and their team have studied in collaboration with Markus Bacher and Joseph Strauss (Boku Tulln) the ability of the fungus Doratomyces microsporus to produced antimicrobial compounds due to treatment with valproic acid, a potential epigenetic modulator. They have isolated seven antimicrobial compounds, among them cyclo-(L-proline-L-methionine), a rare diketopiperazine for the first time isolated in fungi. Two compounds were able to boost the antibiotic activity against MRSA strains, suggesting a possible application in combinatorial antibiotic treatment against resistant pathogens.


New Paper in „International Journal of Food Microbiology“ (05.01.2016)

Listeria monocytogenes is able to persist for months and even years in the food producing environment. To elucidate the mechanism of persistence Kathrin Rychli and her team have studied the exoproteome of persistent L. monocytogenes strains showing that proteins linked to alkaline stress like the NADPH dehydrogenase NamA are higher abundant in persistent strains.  

Link paper 20


New Paper in „Angewandte Chemie International Edition“ (02.12.2015)

To reduce the secondary metabolite background in Aspergillus nidulans and minimize the rediscovery of compounds and pathway intermediates, a "genetic dereplication" strain was created. The study “Development of Genetic Dereplication Strains in Aspergillus nidulans Results in the Discovery of Aspercryptin.” was performed at the University of Southern California Los Angeles (USA), where Christoph Zutz has worked for 6 months during his PhD.

Link paper 21


New paper in PlosONE (4.11.2015)


Multiple Listeria monocytogenes strains can be present in the same food sample and infect human. In an international cooperation with Evangelia A. Zilelidou and Panagiotis N. Skandamis from Greece we could show that
highly invasive L. monocytogenes strains have growth and invasion advantages in strain competition.

Link paper  23


Award (15.10.2015)


Kathrin Rychli received the Award for the” Best Young Scientist of the University of Veterinary Medicine Vienna, 2015. Category: third-part funding, non-clinical.


Eva Harter - new PhD Student (15.10.2015)

Eva Harter started her PhD thesis in October 2015. Her thesis will focus on the role of hypervariable hotspots in stress response and virulence of Listeria monocytogenes.


new FWF project funded (May 2015)

Kathrin Rychli received funding for the project: “Hypervariable genetic hotspots in Listeria monocytogenes: The role of the hotspot lmo0443-lmo0449 in stress response and virulence.”