The epidemiology of human listeriosis

Microbes and Infection
Bala Swaminathan, Peter Gerner-Smidt

Abstract

Listeriosis is a serious invasive disease that primarily afflicts pregnant women, neonates and immunocompromised adults. The causative organism, Listeria monocytogenes, is primarily transmitted to humans through contaminated foods. Outbreaks of listeriosis have been reported in North America, Europe and Japan. Soft cheeses made from raw milk and ready-to-eat meats are high risk foods for susceptible individuals. Efforts by food processors and food regulatory agencies to aggressively control L. monocytogenes in the high risk foods have resulted in significant decreases in the incidence of sporadic listeriosis.

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