9537 - Culture listeria
Listeria can be found in many foods (dairy products, mushrooms, salads, deli meats like salami). A notable trait of listeria is its ability to replicate at temperatures as low as 4° C, which means that even small quantities of the bacterium can grow to significant numbers on food in a refrigerator. Infections in humans can also result from direct contact with infected livestock and pets (dogs, cats). Humans are generally able to tolerate low germ counts of listeria. Healthy people can be asymptomatic carriers of listeria and shed the bacteria in the feces. It is assumed that listeria can also cause diarrhea. Listeria infections can lead to sepsis, meningitis, encephalitis, endocarditis, conjunctivitis, or local inflammation. People at increased risk and predisposing factors include elderly people, alcoholics, malignancies, immunosuppression, hemodialysis patients, and renal transplantat recipients. Exposure to listeria poses a general risk to pregnant women. Maternal colonization may lead to a mild and non-specific flu-like illness with fever. Depending on the timing of infection during pregnancy, an intrauterine infection can lead to fetal death or connatal infections (meningitis, encephalitis, sepsis). In case of an asymptomatic colonization of the birth canal, transmission of the pathogen may also occur during delivery and lead to the above neonatal infections in the newborn within days.
The sensitivity and specificity of the antibody tests are insufficient and are, therefore, no longer recommended.
Notes on diagnostics:
In severely ill patients: Direct detection in blood culture, cerebrospinal fluid, puncture liquid, etc.
In asymptomatic patients or in patients with diarrhea: direct bacterial detection in stool specimens (Nativ or in Fecal-Swab) by culture.