Listeriosis classification

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Editor-In-Chief: C. Michael Gibson, M.S., M.D. [1]


Listeriosis may be classified according to the clinical syndrome into the following: neonatal listeriosis, genitourinary infection, gastroenteritis, central nervous system infection, endocarditis, bacteremia, and localized infection.


Listeriosis may be classified according to the clinical syndrome. Clinical syndromes are shown in the following table:[1][2]

Clinical Syndrome Description
Neonatal infection (granulomatosis infantisepticum) May be early-onset (acquired in-utero, manifests as sepsis) or late-onset (vaginal transmission during delivery, manifests as meningitis).
Genitourinary infection Listeria can proliferate asymptomatically in the vagina and uterus. Manifestations include fever, myalgias, arthralgias and headache. Abortion, stillbirth, and preterm labor are common complications of Listeria genitourinary infection.
Gastroenteritis Listeria is associated with food-borne, non-invasive gastroenteritis. Manifestations include fever, muscle aches, nausea, diarrhea, headache, confusion, loss of balance, or convulsions.
Central nervous system infection Listeria may proliferate in in the brain parenchyma (usually brainstem and meninges)
Endocarditis Listeria endocarditis may affect both native and prosthetic valves. Endocarditis caused by Listeria monocytogenes may signify underlying gastrointestinal tract pathology, including malignancy.
Endophthalmitis A rare form of listeriosis.
Bacteremia Manifestations of listerial bacteremia include a prodromal illness with fever, myalgia, nausea, and diarrhea.
Localized infection Listeria localized infections are uncommon and usually result from direct inoculation or bacteremic spread.


  1. Charlier C, Perrodeau É, Leclercq A, Cazenave B, Pilmis B, Henry B, Lopes A, Maury MM, Moura A, Goffinet F, Dieye HB, Thouvenot P, Ungeheuer MN, Tourdjman M, Goulet V, de Valk H, Lortholary O, Ravaud P, Lecuit M (2017). "Clinical features and prognostic factors of listeriosis: the MONALISA national prospective cohort study". Lancet Infect Dis. doi:10.1016/S1473-3099(16)30521-7. PMID 28139432.
  2. Chersich MF, Takkinen J, Charlier C, Leclercq A, Adams PE, Godbole G, Altmeyer U, Friesema IH, Labbé Sandelin L, Jenkin L, Fontana L, Aldigeri R, Venter F, Luchters SM, Lecuit M, Cimino L (2017). "Diagnosis and Treatment of Listeria monocytogenes Endophthalmitis: A Systematic Review". Ocul. Immunol. Inflamm.: 1–10. doi:10.1080/09273948.2016.1276788. PMID 28145786.

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