Febrile gastroenteritis due to Listeria monocytogenes (LM) has been primarily described in foodborne outbreaks. We decided to determine the incidence of sporadic, febrile gastroenteritis due to LM in a large, well-defined North American population over a 2-year period and to compare these cases to sporadic cases of Campylobacter and Salmonella infections occurring concurrently in the community.
From 1 September 2002 through 31 August 2004, all stool specimens submitted for evaluation of diarrheal illness to a public health laboratory and to a children's hospital serving a population of approximately 350,000 were examined for the presence of Listeria species. Patients identified as having LM in their stool samples were matched with 2 temporally-matched patients with cultures positive for Campylobacter and Salmonella species. Patients with LM and control patients were contacted by telephone, and they answered a questionnaire that examined clinical features and risk factors for diarrheal illness.
A total of 7775 stool specimens were submitted during the period 1 September 2002-31 August 2004. Thirty-nine Listeria species were recovered. Seventeen of the species were LM, 13 were Listeria innocua, 3 were Listeria welshimeri, 1 was Listeria grayi, and 4 were other species. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis results demonstrated no temporal or other clusters, and no seasonality was noted for isolates of LM. Preexisting gastrointestinal problems were much more common in patients with LM (P=.001) than in patients with Campylobacter or Salmonella infections.
Sporadic gastroenteritis due to LM appears to be an uncommon illness, and routine screening of stool samples for LM remains unwarranted. Preexisting gastrointestinal disease may be a risk factor for infection of the gastrointestinal tract with LM.
Isolates of Listeria monocytogenes (n = 932) isolated in Sweden during 1958-2010 from human patients with invasive listeriosis were characterized by serotyping and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) (AscI). Of the 932 isolates, 183 different PFGE types were identified, of which 83 were each represented by only one isolate. In all, 483 serovar 1/2a isolates were distributed over 114 PFGE types; 90 serovar 1/2b isolates gave 32 PFGE types; 21 serovar 1/2c isolates gave nine PFGE types; three serovar 3b isolates gave one PFGE type; and, 335 serovar 4b isolates gave 31 PFGE types. During the 1980s in Sweden, several serovar 4b cases were associated with the consumption of European raw soft cheese. However, as cheese-production hygiene has improved, the number of 4b cases has decreased. Since 1996, serovar 1/2a has been the dominant L. monocytogenes serovar in human listeriosis in Sweden. Therefore, based on current serovars and PFGE types, an association between human cases of listeriosis and the consumption of vacuum-packed gravad and cold-smoked salmon is suggested.
As the result of the prospective examination of 863 pregnant women in urban and rural consultation clinics for women in Daghestan, a high proportion of them were found to be infected with toxoplasmosis (25.5%), brucellosis (1.85%) and listeriosis (12.2%). The data on the contamination of 1325 women with aggravated obstetric history were confidently higher, constituting 52.0%, 3.3% and 22.2% respectively. The results of the examination of women working on live-stock farms (226 women) and poultry farms (106 women) demonstrated a significantly high frequency of contamination with the above-mentioned zoonotic infections. The data thus obtained were indicative of the necessity of organizing epidemiological surveillance on these infections; for their diagnostics a complex of laboratory methods could be used, though the effectiveness of these methods was different in different nosological forms.
In 2010, a marked increase in listeriosis incidence was observed in Finland. Listeria monocytogenes PFGE profile 96 was responsible for one-fifth of the reported cases and a cluster of PFGE profile 62 was also detected. Investigations revealed two fishery production plants with persistent Listeria contamination. It appears likely that the plants were at least partly responsible for the increase of listeriosis. Epidemiological investigation revealed that 57% (31/54) of cases with underlying immunosuppressive condition or medication reported eating gravad or cold-smoked fish. Two public notices were issued by THL and Evira informing which groups were most at risk from the effects of listeriosis and should therefore be cautious in consuming certain products. Systematic sampling of foods and adequate epidemiological investigation methods are required to identify the sources of Listeria infections. Continuous control measures at fishery production plants producing risk products are essential.
Among 504 clinical lineage II isolates of Listeria monocytogenes isolated during 1958-2010 in Sweden, 119 pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) types (AscI) have been identified based on the number and distribution of all banding patterns in each DNA profile. In this study, these types were further divided into PFGE groups based on the configuration of small bands with sizes 145.5?kb.
An outbreak of listeriosis in Denmark occurred in May 2009. Multilocus variable number of tandem repeats analysis typing, later confirmed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis typing, showed that isolates from eight patients had identical patterns and were distinguishable from Listeria monocytogenes isolates from other Danish patients. Seven out of eight patients had received a meal with beef from the same meals-on-wheels delivery catering company 3 weeks prior to onset of disease. Two patients died of their infection. Large-scale delivery of precooked meals to a vulnerable population represents a threat if proper measures against listeriosis are not taken.
The objective of the present work was to develop a quantitative risk assessment model in which the exposure and risk of acquiring listeriosis from consumption of packaged smoked or gravad salmon and rainbow trout were estimated. An Excel spreadsheet model was constructed in which variables were represented by distributions based on surveys of L. monocytogenes in these food products, and on demographic and consumption data. Growth or inactivation was not included in the model. The model was run through Monte Carlo simulations using the @Risk software (Palisade Corporation). The probability of illness per serving was calculated using two dose-response models from the literature. The first was an exponential model in which the species specific constant R, that helps define the dose-response curve, previously has been estimated to be 1.18 x 10(-10) based on German data (GR). In this study, R was estimated to 5.6 x 10(-10) based on Swedish data. The second model was a flexible Weibull-Gamma model (WG), with different coefficients for high- and low-risk groups. The exponential model (GR), although conservative and generally overestimating the risk, still predicted a lower probability of illness than the WG-model. The estimated mean risk per serving was 2.8 x 10(-5) (GR, high-risk group), 2.0 x 10(-3) (WG, low-risk group) and 0.016 (WG, high-risk group), respectively. The average number of reported listeriosis cases in Sweden is 37 per year. In comparison, the mean number of annual cases predicted by the risk assessment model was 168 (range 47 to 2800, GR, high-risk group), and 95 000 (range 34 000 to 1.6 x 10(6), WG high-risk group), respectively. If 1 to 10% (uniform distribution) of strains, instead of all, were considered virulent, the mean number of predicted cases would decrease to nine (GR) and 5200 (WG), respectively. The mean annual cumulative individual risk in the high-risk group based on a monthly exposure was estimated to be 4.0 x 10(-4) (range 8.0 x 10(-8) to 5.4 x 10(-3), GR). This risk increased to 1.5 x 10(-3) (range 1.7 x 10(-5) to 9.2 x 10(-3), GR) based on a weekly exposure. The risk assessment model was most sensitive to the input distribution describing the level of contamination and to a lesser degree on the prevalence of L. monocytogenes, the proportion of virulent strains, and serving sizes. A lack of data on the prevalence and concentration of L. monocytogenes in these products, dose-response data and quantitative information on the proportion of virulent strains were identified.