Listeriosis in Patients Infected With Human Immunodeficiency Virus

Rev Infect Dis. Jan-Feb 1991;13(1):115-9. doi: 10.1093/clinids/13.1.115.


Although resistance to Listeria monocytogenes infection requires intact T cell-mediated immunity, only 20 patients with human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection and listeriosis (including one patient described herein) have been reported to date. Listeriosis developed before AIDS in five cases. Syndromes included meningitis in nine cases, bacteremia in nine, brain abscess in one, and endocarditis in one. Eighteen patients were treated with ampicillin, penicillin, or amoxicillin with or without aminoglycosides. Clinical and microbiologic responses were obtained in one patient with bacteremia treated with vancomycin and in one patient with meningitis treated with trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. Three of the nine patients with meningitis died, as did the patient with brain abscess. All nine patients with bacteremia and the patient with endocarditis survived. No case of relapse was documented. L. monocytogenes, although uncommon, should be considered in the differential diagnosis of febrile illness, meningitis, and brain abscess in patients with HIV infection.

Publication types

  • Case Reports
  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • HIV Infections / complications*
  • Humans
  • Listeriosis / complications*
  • Male
  • Meningitis, Listeria / complications*