The main route of infection is through the ingestion of contaminated food products, especially soft cheeses. Therefore, pregnant women are strongly advised from not eating soft cheeses like brie, feta, and queso blanco fresco.
Pregnant women typically have flu-like symptoms, including fever and muscle aches.
Pregnant women also commonly have gastrointestinal symptoms, including diarrhea, nausea and vomiting.
Intrauterine or cervical infections can occur when pregnant women develop listeriosis. Neonates may suffer from granulomatosis infantiseptica, which are pyogenic granulomas distributed all over the body.
A spontaneous abortion is the spontaneous loss of a fetus before 20 weeks when the embryo or fetus is incapable of surviving independently. Intrauterine or cervical infections in pregnant women can result in spontaneous abortions, usually in the second to third trimester.
If Listeria infection spreads to the central nervous system, it can cause inflammation of the membranes covering the brain and spinal cord. Common symptoms include fever, headache and neck stiffness. Listeria is the third most common cause of meningitis in newborns as the infants are exposed to the bacteria during transvaginal delivery.
This organism characteristically causes a monocytic response in the CSF, which can help with diagnosis of the causative agent.
Ampicillin is generally considered the antibiotic of choice for Listeria monocytogenes.
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