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Euro Surveill. 2019 May;24(21). doi: 10.2807/1560-7917.ES.2019.24.21.1800271.

Listeriosis in Spain based on hospitalisation records, 1997 to 2015: need for greater awareness.

Author information

1
Network Biomedical Research on Tropical Diseases (RICET in Spanish), Madrid, Spain.
2
National Centre for Tropical Medicine, Health Institute Carlos III (ISCIII in Spanish), Madrid, Spain.
3
Network Biomedical Research Centre in Epidemiology and Public Health (CIBERESP in Spanish), Madrid, Spain.
4
National Centre of Epidemiology, Health Institute Carlos III (ISCIII in Spanish), Madrid, Spain.
5
National Referral Unit for Tropical Diseases, Infectious Diseases Department, Ramón y Cajal Hospital, Instituto Ramón y Cajal de Investigación Sanitaria, Madrid, Spain.

Abstract

IntroductionListeriosis is a food-borne disease of public health importance that has recently been involved in prolonged outbreaks. Despite its relevance, listeriosis is under-reported in many European countries.AimWe aimed to describe listeriosis epidemiology in Spain from 1997-2015.MethodsWe performed a retrospective study using the Spanish hospitalisation database. We calculated the mean number of hospitalisations per year and region. Pregnancy and neonatal-related listeriosis rates were computed. Relation between death and the presence of underlying health conditions was explored.ResultsBetween 1997-2015, 5,696 listeriosis hospitalisations occurred, showing a constantly increasing trend. Higher hospitalisation rates were located in the north of the country compared to southern regions. The age group ≥ 65 years old was the most represented (50%). Pregnant women and newborns accounted for 7% and 4% of hospitalisations, respectively. An underlying immunocompromising condition was present in 56.4% of patients: cancer (22.8%), diabetes mellitus (16.6%) and chronic liver disease (13.1%). Death occurred in 17% of patients, more frequently among those ≥ 65 years old (67.5%), with sepsis (39.9%) or with meningoencephalitis (19.2%).ConclusionListeriosis is an emergent public health problem in Spain that calls for targeted action. Further prevention strategies are urgently needed, including food safety education and messaging for all at-risk groups.

KEYWORDS:

Listeria; Spain; bacterial infections; clinic; epidemiology; food-borne infections; infection control; listeriosis; surveillance

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