Stephen J. Schueler, M.D.

Listeriosis Overview

What is listeriosis?
A person with listeriosis has a rare bacterial infection caused by the bacteria, Listeria monocytogenes. The infection is usually caused by eating contaminated food. Listeria causes gastroenteritis in adults and meningitis in newborns. Listeriosis can also cause a miscarriage in a pregnant woman. Only about 2,500 cases are reported each year in the US. Listeriosis infections are more common in those with weak immune systems, in whom the infection can be life threatening.

What are the symptoms of listeriosis?
Symptoms of mild listeriosis include abdominal pain, cough, diarrhea, fever, nausea, vomiting, and fatigue. Symptoms of worsening listeriosis include headache, high fever, stiff neck, pain during urination, breathing difficulty, confusion, and seizures.

How does the doctor treat listeriosis?
Treatment for listeriosis may include intravenous fluids, antibiotics, and medications to control diarrhea.

Continue to Listeriosis Incidence

Last Updated: Feb 10, 2010 References
Authors: Stephen J. Schueler, MD; John H. Beckett, MD; D. Scott Gettings, MD
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PubMed Listeriosis References
  1. Doganay M. Listeriosis: clinical presentation. FEMS Immunol Med Microbiol. 2003 Apr 1;35(3):173-5. [12648833]
  2. Hof, H. An update on the medical management of listeriosis. Expert Opin Pharmacother. 2004 Aug;5(8):1727-35. [15264987]
  3. Ogunmodede F, Jones JL, Scheftel J, Kirkland E, Schulkin J, Lynfield R. Listeriosis prevention knowledge among pregnant women in the USA. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2005 Mar;13(1):11-5. [16040322]
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