Listeriosis history and symptoms

Jump to navigation Jump to search

Listeriosis Microchapters


Patient Information


Historical Perspective




Differentiating Listeriosis from other Diseases

Epidemiology and Demographics

Risk Factors

Natural History, Complications and Prognosis



History and Symptoms

Physical Examination

Laboratory Findings


Other Diagnostic Studies


Medical Therapy


Primary Prevention

Secondary Prevention

Cost-Effectiveness of Therapy

Future or Investigational Therapies

Case Studies

Case #1

Listeriosis history and symptoms On the Web

Most recent articles

Most cited articles

Review articles

CME Programs

Powerpoint slides


American Roentgen Ray Society Images of Listeriosis history and symptoms

All Images
Echo & Ultrasound
CT Images

Ongoing Trials at Clinical

US National Guidelines Clearinghouse

NICE Guidance

FDA on Listeriosis history and symptoms

CDC on Listeriosis history and symptoms

Listeriosis history and symptoms in the news

Blogs on Listeriosis history and symptoms

Directions to Hospitals Treating Listeriosis

Risk calculators and risk factors for Listeriosis history and symptoms

Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]; Associate Editor(s)-in-Chief: João André Alves Silva, M.D. [2]


Fever is the most common symptom of listeriosis. Other symptoms develop on location of the infection: Patients with gastroenteritis may develop watery diarrhea, abdominal pain, vomiting, and headache. Patients with CNS infection may develop symptoms of meningitis, encephalitis, cerebritis, rhombencephalitis, or spinal cord infection, such as headache, back pain, neck pain, photophobia, phonophobia, deafness, confusion, ataxia, seizures, and neurological impairment.


Although the source is often unknown, contaminated food is the most common vehicle of transmission. Listeria has an incubation period that can range from a median of 24 hours, in Listeria gastroenteritis, to a median of 35 days, in Listeria invasive disease.[1][2][3] Patients who present with symptoms suggestive of listeriosis should be inquired about history of ingested of uncooked meats and vegetables, unpasteurized (raw) milk and cheeses, processed (or ready-to-eat) meats, and smoked seafood within the last few weeks.


Although some patients may be transitory asymptomatic carriers of listeriosis, others become symptomatic. There is a variety of clinical presentations depending on the affected systems and the immune status of the host.[4]

Febrile Gastroenteritis

Infection in Pregnancy

Sepsis of Unknown Origin


CNS Infection


The clinical presentation can range from mild fever and mental status changes, to a more aggressive course with coma. Focal neurological signs might be present, such as:[5]

Cerebritis/ Encephalitis

In cerebritis/encephalitis, the clinical picture is dominated by altered consciousness and cognitive dysfunction. Additional symptoms include:[6]


Rhombencephalitis often follows a biphasic course. The initial phase lasts for about 4 days and is characterized by the following symptoms:

The initial phase is followed by an abrupt onset of:


  1. Ooi ST, Lorber B (2005). "Gastroenteritis due to Listeria monocytogenes". Clin Infect Dis. 40 (9): 1327–32. doi:10.1086/429324. PMID 15825036.
  2. Dalton CB, Austin CC, Sobel J, Hayes PS, Bibb WF, Graves LM; et al. (1997). "An outbreak of gastroenteritis and fever due to Listeria monocytogenes in milk". N Engl J Med. 336 (2): 100–5. doi:10.1056/NEJM199701093360204. PMID 8988887.
  3. Linnan MJ, Mascola L, Lou XD, Goulet V, May S, Salminen C; et al. (1988). "Epidemic listeriosis associated with Mexican-style cheese". N Engl J Med. 319 (13): 823–8. doi:10.1056/NEJM198809293191303. PMID 3137471.
  4. Mandell, Gerald L.; Bennett, John E. (John Eugene); Dolin, Raphael. (2010). Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's principles and practice of infectious disease. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. ISBN 0-443-06839-9.
  5. Southwick FS, Purich DL (1996). "Intracellular pathogenesis of listeriosis". N. Engl. J. Med. 334 (12): 770–6. doi:10.1056/NEJM199603213341206. PMID 8592552.
  6. Mandell, Gerald L.; Bennett, John E. (John Eugene); Dolin, Raphael. (2010). Mandell, Douglas, and Bennett's principles and practice of infectious disease. Philadelphia, PA: Churchill Livingstone/Elsevier. ISBN 0-443-06839-9.

Template:WH Template:WS