A gram-positive bacterial infection that affects neonates, pregnant women, adults over 45 to 50 years of age, and immunocompromised people.
Mainly a food-borne disease. Prevention consists of hand hygiene, cooking food well, and avoiding unwashed and leftover food.
Recent outbreaks have been reported in Australia, where the source was thought to be cantaloupe melons, and in Europe, where the source was reported to be frozen vegetables.
Bacteraemia, sepsis, meningitis, encephalitis, brain abscess, endocarditis, and gastroenteritis are the most common clinical manifestations.
Cultures from clinically sterile sites and serological tests are the keys for laboratory diagnosis.
Ampicillin is the preferred drug for initial treatment for systemic (non-gastroenteritic) manifestations. Gastroenteritis alone is usually self-limiting.
Listeriosis is a food-borne infection caused by a motile, non-spore-forming, gram-positive bacillus. Its incidence is relatively low in the general population.
History and exam
- diarrhoea and abdominal pain
- generalised malaise
- flu-like symptoms in pregnancy
- poor feeding (neonates)
- cranial nerve deficits
- cerebellar signs
- focal neurological signs
- intra-partum fever
- bleeding diathesis with haemorrhage
- cardiac murmur
Honorary Clinical Senior Lecturer
Consultant in Acute and General Medicine
PMK declares that he has no competing interests.
Infectious Diseases Division
Massachusetts General Hospital and Harvard Medical School
EM is an author of several references cited in this topic. He has also received grant support from T2 Biosystems, Astellas Pharma, and Boehringer Ingelheim. In addition, he is a member of Astellas Pharma.
Professor of Medicine and Community Health
JDR declares that he has no competing interests.
Infection and Immunity
Southern General Hospital
AL declares that he has no competing interests.
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