AskDefine | Define listeriosis

Dictionary Definition

listeriosis n : an infectious disease of animals and humans (especially newborn or immunosuppressed persons) caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes; in sheep and cattle the infection frequently involves the central nervous system and causes various neurological symptoms [syn: listeria meningitis]

User Contributed Dictionary



  1. An infectious disease of humans and animals caused by the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria ivanovii, often through contaminated food.

Extensive Definition

Listeriosis is a bacterial infection caused by a gram-positive, motile bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes. Listeriosis is relatively rare and occurs primarily in newborn infants, elderly patients, and patients who are immunocompromised.
In veterinary medicine, however, listeriosis can be a quite common condition in some farm outbreaks. It can also be found in wild animals. See : "listeriosis in animals".


Incidence in 2004–2005 was 2.5–3 cases per million population and year in the USA, where pregnant women accounted for 30% of all cases. Of all nonperinatal infections, 70% occur in immunocompromised patients. Incidence in the USA has been falling since the 1990s, in contrast to Europe where changes in eating habits have lead to an increase during the same time. In Sweden, it has stabilized at around 5 cases per annum and million population, with pregnant women typically accounting for 1–2 of some 40 total yearly cases.


Listeria monocytogenes is ubiquitous in the environment. The main route of acquisition of Listeria is through the ingestion of contaminated food products. Listeria has been isolated from raw meat, dairy products, vegetables, and seafood. Soft cheeses, unpasteurized milk and unpasteurised pâté are potential dangers, however post-pasteurization outbreaks of infection from dairy have been from pasteurized milk.
Another aspect of prevention is in giving advice to high-risk groups such as pregnant women and immunocompromised patients to avoiding unpasteurised pâtés and foods such as soft cheeses like feta, Brie, Camembert cheese, bleu. Cream cheese, yogurt, and cottage cheese are considered safe. In the United Kingdom, advice along these lines from the Chief Medical Officer posted in maternity clinics led to a sharp decline in cases of listeriosis in pregnancy in the late 1980s


External links

listeriosis in Arabic: داء الليستَريات
listeriosis in Catalan: Listeriosi
listeriosis in Czech: Listerióza
listeriosis in German: Listeriose
listeriosis in Spanish: Listeriosis
listeriosis in French: Listériose
listeriosis in Croatian: Listerioza
listeriosis in Icelandic: Votheysveiki
listeriosis in Italian: Listeriosi
listeriosis in Polish: Listerioza
listeriosis in Portuguese: Listeriose
listeriosis in Walloon: Listeriôze
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