ABC Medical Center > Listeria infection

What is Listeria infection?

12:49 - 3 November , 2023


It is a bacterial infection, also known as listeriosis, which is transmitted through foods contaminated with listeria, a bacteria that is especially dangerous for pregnant women, immunosuppressed people, and older adults.

Listeria infection typically occurs by eating sausages contaminated by a poor production process, products made with unpasteurized milk, raw, unsanitized vegetables, or contaminated meats.

In pregnant women, who are more susceptible to contracting a listeria infection, it may not cause major problems for them. Still, it can be fatal for the baby, causing spontaneous abortion, intrauterine fetal death, premature birth, or infection with fatal consequences after birth.

It can also be devastating for people with the following characteristics:

  • Older adults.
  • Individuals with a depressed immune system.
  • With HIV/AIDS.
  • In chemotherapy sessions.
  • Diabetics.
  • Kidney failure.

The most serious complications of a listeria infection can be septicemia or meningitis.

Signs and symptoms Listeria infection

  • Diarrhea.
  • Headache.
  • Stiff neck.
  • Mental confusion.
  • High fever.
  • Chills.
  • Sore muscles.
  • Nausea.
  • Imbalance.
  • Seizures.

In a newborn, the symptoms can be:

  • Lack of appetite.
  • Irritability.
  • High fever.
  • Vomit.
  • Trouble breathing.

Diagnosis and treatment Listeria infection

Once your doctor analyzes your symptoms and clinical history, they will perform a physical examination and will order blood, urine, and cerebrospinal fluid tests to confirm the diagnosis.:

The treatment to follow involves the immediate prescription of antibiotics.

At ABC Medical Center’s Internal Medicine Department, we offer health care services with the highest quality and safety, from the prevention, diagnosis, timely treatment, and monitoring of infectious, respiratory, endocrinological, dermatological, rheumatic, nephrological, gastrointestinal, and hematological pathologies of both chronic-degenerative diseases and acute conditions, through a comprehensive and multidisciplinary model.


  • Mou KM, Picado ME, Salazar CV. Listeriosis en el embarazo. Revista Médica Sinergia. 2022;7(06):.
  • Vázquez GD, Breijo PA, Fernández OM. Meningoencefalitis por Listeria monocytogenes. Rev Cub Med Int Emerg. 2020;19(4):1-10.
  • Paumier LP, Durán RR, García GM. Listeriosis en una embarazada en Cuidados Intensivos Adulto. Presentación de caso. RIC. 2016;95(5):793-800.

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