LISTERIA INFECTION

Description

Listeriosis is a disease caused by a gram-positive bacterium named Listeria that can penetrate and replicate inside human cells

Symptoms

  • Fever
  • Muscle aches
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea
  • If infection spreads to your nervous system it may include:
  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • Confusion or changes in alertness
  • Loss of balance
  • Convulsions
  • In newborns:
  • Little interest in feeding
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Vomiting

Causes

  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Unborn babies can contract a listeria infection from the mother via the placenta
  • Infected by consuming:
  • Raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil or from contaminated manure used as fertilizer
  • Infected animal meat
  • Unpasteurized milk
  • Soft cheeses, hot dogs and deli meats that have been contaminated after processing

Risk Factors

  • Pregnant women and their babies
  • People who have weak immune systems
  • Older adults

Diagnostic Tests

  • Patient’s history and physical exam
  • Blood tests
  • Spinal fluid test
  • Amniotic fluid/placenta test

Treatment

  • Antibiotic treatment:
  • IV ampicillin
  • Bactrim (trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole)

Lifestyle Management

  • Keep things clean
  • Scrub raw vegetables
  • Cook your food thoroughly
  • Don’t eat refrigerated smoked seafood