Most cases of Listeria infection are food-borne. Meat, vegetables, unpasteurised
milk and dairy products including soft cheeses have all been associated with illness.
Cases can occur by person to person spread, including from mother to child at birth
or in utero.
Main clinical features
Infection with Listeria monocytogenes can cause an influenza-like illness, septicaemia
or a meningo-encephalitis. Pregnant women, newborn babies, the elderly and the immunocompromised
are most at risk. Asymptomatic infection in pregnancy can be passed to the foetus
resulting in a spectrum of disease including spontaneous abortion.
3 - 70 days.
Voluntary laboratory reports and surveillance of general outbreaks of infectious
intestinal disease. All isolates of Listeria are reported as either L
. monocytogenes or Listeria species . Since 2003, pregnancy associated
cases are counted as just one case, even where there is a positive from both mother
Last reviewed: 02 February 2012