Listeriosis

Listeriosis is a bacterial infectious disease transmitted through eating contaminated food.

Overview

Listeriosis is a bacterial infectious disease transmitted through eating contaminated food. This risk is particularly great for raw (i.e. unpasteurised) milk products. While an infection can often be asymptomatic or simply cause gastrointestinal problems, people with a weakened immune system can develop sepsis or meningitis. To prevent infection, food must be heated sufficiently.

Symptoms

  • Incubation period: 3-90 days
Intact immune system
Complications

Causes and treatment

Causes

  • Pathogen: Listeria monocytogenes bacterium
  • Transmission
  • Typical foods
    • Milk sold in open containers, raw milk products
    • Processed meat (smoked meat, salami, air-dried ham)
    • Ice cream, mayonnaise
    • Seafood
  • Risks
    • Bacteria can multiply even in the fridge
    • Insufficient hygiene measures
    • Improper storage
    • Improper processing

Further treatment by your doctor / in hospital

Possible tests
  • Blood test
  • Bacterial culture
  • Analysis of cerebrospinal fluid (lumbar puncture), if necessary
Possible therapies
  • Antibiotics

What can I do myself?

  • Heat food (e.g. meat, fish) sufficiently before eating (at least 2 minutes at > 70°C)
  • Fresh fruit and vegetables
    • Wash carefully
    • Store separately from meat
  • Eat perishable foods as soon as possible
  • Don't eat half-raw or raw food

When to see a doctor?

Synonyms

listeriosis, listeria infection, listeria disease, listeria

Exclusion of liability

CSS offers no guarantee for the accuracy and completeness of the information. The information published is no substitute for professional advice from a doctor or pharmacist.

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