Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

Listeria outbreak linked to deli meats, cheeses in four states

(HealthDay)—A listeria outbreak that has sickened eight, including one death, has now been linked to deli meats and cheeses sold at stores in four states, the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention said Wednesday.

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

First nationwide study of listeria in mothers and babies

The first study of the burden of listeria in pregnant New Zealanders and their babies has found reassuringly low rates of the infection – indicating food safety warnings are working to prevent unnecessary cases of miscarriage, ...

Diseases, Conditions, Syndromes

A nasty germ that can lurk in favorite foods

(HealthDay)—Recalls of assorted foods and different brands of ice cream over the past few years have put a spotlight on the germ known as listeria.

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Listeria

Listeria is a bacterial genus that contains seven species. Named after the English pioneer of sterile surgery Joseph Lister, the genus received its current name in 1940. Listeria species are gram-positive bacilli. The major human pathogen in the Listeria genus is L. monocytogenes. It is usually the causative agent of the relatively rare bacterial disease, listeriosis, a serious infection caused by eating food contaminated with the bacteria. The disease affects primarily pregnant women, newborns, adults with weakened immune systems, and the elderly.

Listeriosis is a serious disease for humans; the overt form of the disease has a mortality rate of about 20 percent. The two main clinical manifestations are sepsis and meningitis. Meningitis is often complicated by encephalitis, a pathology that is unusual for bacterial infections. Listeria ivanovii is a pathogen of mammals, specifically ruminants, and has rarely caused listeriosis in humans.

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