Last Updated: 2023-07-07
Author(s): Anzengruber F., Navarini A.
- Infection with Listeria monocytogenes, a facultatively pathogenic, motile, microaerophilic, Gram-positive, non-spore-forming, catalase-positive, facultatively aerobic rod.
- Historical note
- Listeriosis was named after Joseph Baron Lister (1827–1912), a British surgeon.
- Incidence: 100-300 reported cases/year.
- Veterinarians and farmers are particularly often affected.
- A special risk exists when pregnant women are infected (embryopathy).
- In some cases, an epidemic occurrence could be proven.
- M:F = 1:1.
- Listeria monocytogenes, rarely L. seeligeri or L. ivanovii.
- Transmission by smear infection, via food ingestion and diaplacentally.
- Animals, sewage, food (milk and poultry products) and waste. L. monocytogenes is detectable in the GI tract of many people.
- Predisposing factors
- Immunosuppression (childbirth, old age, neoplasia, HIV infection, transplantation, pregnancy).
- Monucleosis-like symptomatology.
- Febrile temperatures, drowsiness, cephalgia, lumbar pain, meningitis and sepsis.
- Gastrointestinal complaints.
- Abscesses (granulomatosis infantiseptica), petechiae and bluish nodules as signs of (extramedullary haematopoiesis).
- Characteristic are erythematous nodules, which become papules and pustules and eventually ulcerate. In farmers and veterinarians, it is usually occupational listeriosis).
- Immune-suppressed patients: Pneumonia, meningitis and sepsis.
- Infestation of any organ is possible.
- Culture (blood, stool, bact. smear e.g.: pharyngeal swab or meconium, lochia, vaginal secretions, faeces, wounds).
- Infected (sometimes asymptomatic) persons can excrete Listeria via faeces for several weeks to months.
- In the urine and lochial secretions of the mother of infected newborns, the pathogens can be detected up to 2 weeks postpartum.
Listeria meningitis (lethality: approx. 30%).
Immunity possible through recurrent exposure (veterinarians and farmers).
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- Reichertz P, Seeliger HP. [Studies on the question of the relation between serum antibodies and skin reactions in cases of suspected listeriosis]. Z Klin Med 1962;157:331-49.
- Kalkoff KW, Schiff W. [Listeriosis of the skin caused by contact infection]. Hautarzt 1960;11:201-4.
- Novak J. [Special skin symptoms in listeriosis]. Cas Lek Cesk 1957;96:420-1.