Listeriosis is caused by an infection with the bacteria Listeria monocytogenes. Listeria strikes humans and animals.
The Listeria bacteria are often passed on to humans in certain foods. Babies may become infected with the bacteria if their mothers are infected during pregnancy or during birth.
Listeriosis usually causes no symptoms in otherwise healthy people. But infection with the bacteria can cause: diarrheafeverheadachevomiting
Some people may have more serious reactions to infection with the bacteria. Pregnant women, children, the elderly, and people with weakened immune systems are at special risk. They may develop meningitis, an inflammation of the membranes surrounding the brain and spinal cord.
Babies who have been infected with the bacteria usually get pneumonia. Sepsis, a dangerous blood infection, and meningitis are also common among infected infants.
Pregnant women may have complications such as miscarriages.
The Listeria bacteria cause listeriosis. It is often spread by contaminated foods, including: raw fruits and vegetablesundercooked meatsunpasteurized milk and milk products
Listeriosis may also be passed from an infected mother to her baby.
Pregnant women who are found to have Listeria may be given antibiotics to keep it from spreading to their babies.
Pregnant women and people with weakened immune systems should avoid unpasteurized milk or milk products. They should eat meat only if it is well-cooked. Everyone should wash fruits and vegetables well before eating them.
Diagnosis of listeriosis begins with a history and physical exam. The Listeria bacteria is found in infected body fluids and wastes. These include blood, cerebrospinal fluid, and feces.
Listeriosis can cause serious health problems in newborns and people with weakened immune systems.
Listeriosis is generally not contagious from person to person. However, a pregnant woman can pass it to her baby.
A combination of the antibiotics ampicillin and gentamicin is a common choice for listeriosis treatment. A number of other antibiotics can be used.
The antibiotic combination may cause allergic reaction, upset stomach, and ear damage.
If the infection has caused long-term health problems, the person may need ongoing treatment.
Any new or worsening symptoms should be reported to the healthcare professional.