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Clin Infect Dis. 2005 May 1;40(9):1327-32. Epub 2005 Mar 31.

Gastroenteritis due to Listeria monocytogenes.

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  • 1Section of Infectious Diseases, Department of Medicine, Temple University School of Medicine, Philadelphia, Pennsylvania 19140, USA.


It has been known for a long time that many patients experience diarrhea antecedent to the development of bacteremia or meningoencephalitis due to Listeria monocytogenes, but it was only recently that convincing evidence was obtained that this organism can cause acute, self-limited, febrile gastroenteritis in healthy persons. At least 7 outbreaks of foodborne gastroenteritis due to L. monocytogenes have been reported. Illness typically occurs 24 h after ingestion of a large inoculum of bacteria and usually lasts 2 days. Common symptoms include fever, watery diarrhea, nausea, headache, and pains in joints and muscles. L. monocytogenes should be considered to be a possible etiology in outbreaks of febrile gastroenteritis when routine cultures fail to yield a pathogen.

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