• Heather E. ClaussEmail author
  • Bennett Lorber


Listeria monocytogenes, a small gram-positive bacterium, is a foodborne pathogen that can cause life-threatening bacteremia and central nervous system infections. Persons at risk for listeriosis are primarily those with impairments in cell-medicated immune function, including recipients of solid organ and bone marrow transplantation. Although infection with this microorganism is uncommon, it carries a high mortality. CNS infection may have a subacute course and may involve the brain parenchyma as well as the meninges. Diagnosis usually requires isolation of the bacterium from normally sterile body fluids.

Ampicillin is generally considered the drug of choice, with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole employed for those with penicillin allergy. Transplant recipients should be advised to avoid certain high-risk foods, particularly deli ready-to-eat sliced poultry and unpasteurized cheeses.


Listeria Listeriosis CNS infection Immunosuppression Transplant 


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© Springer Science+Business Media, LLC, part of Springer Nature 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Section of Infectious DiseasesLewis Katz School of Medicine at Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  2. 2.Temple UniversityPhiladelphiaUSA
  3. 3.Temple University Hospital, Department of Infectious DiseasesPhiladelphiaUSA

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