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Med J Aust. 1994 Apr 18;160(8):489-93.

Listeriosis--a review of eighty-four cases.

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  • 1Centre for Infectious Diseases and Microbiology, Westmead Hospital, NSW.



To review the epidemiology, risk factors for acquisition, clinical features and outcomes of Listeria monocytogenes infection in Sydney.


A retrospective study over the period 1983-1992 at four university teaching hospitals in Sydney. Cases were identified from microbiology laboratory records of the isolation of L. monocytogenes from sterile sites.


Eighty-four cases were reviewed, with 72 patients (86%) having a predisposing underlying condition, including 13 perinatal patients (15%). Septicaemia (56%) and central nervous system disease (41%) were the major clinical presentations. Nineteen patients (23%) had hospital-associated infection. A mortality of 21% (18 patients) was directly attributable to L. monocytogenes infection, with another 10% (nine patients) dying of their underlying disease during admission. The 84 cases represented 80% of all L. monocytogenes cases occurring in Sydney during the study period.


Listeriosis is predominantly a disease of the elderly or of immunosuppressed individuals, pregnant women and neonates. The presentation and outcome in these groups are similar to those reported in other Western countries. A significant feature of this study was the number of cases occurring in already hospitalised patients, suggesting that L. monocytogenes may be an important hospital-associated pathogen in immunocompromised patients.

[PubMed - indexed for MEDLINE]
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