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Listeria monocytogenes 

Listeria monocytogenes
Chapter:
Listeria monocytogenes
Author(s):

Gabrielle A. Rizzuto

and Anna I. Bakardjiev

DOI:
10.1093/med/9780190604813.003.0020
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date: 19 October 2019

Listeria monocytogenes is a intracellular bacterial pathogen that causes serious foodborne illness in humans. Among all infectious diseases caused by gastrointestinal pathogens, listeriosis has the highest mortality rate, likely because of its ability to cross the gastrointestinal barrier and cause sepsis and infection of other organs such as the brain and placenta. Infection of the placenta leads to fetal infection, and otherwise healthy pregnant women have a significantly increased incidence of listeriosis than the general population, likely due to changes in the maternal cell-mediated immune response during pregnancy. Clinical manifestations include miscarriage, stillbirth, preterm labor, and neonatal infection and death. Neonates develop early-onset sepsis or late-onset meningitis. Physicians must evaluate pregnant women and neonates with febrile illnesses for listeriosis, since prompt treatment with antibiotics can cure it. It is important to note that L. monocytogenes is resistant to cephalosporins. Ampicillin is the treatment of choice in patients without penicillin allergy.

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