Perinatal listeriosis: Canada's 2008 outbreaks

J Obstet Gynaecol Can. 2010 Jan;32(1):45-48. doi: 10.1016/S1701-2163(16)34403-6.


Background: Listeriosis is one of the most severe foodborne illnesses worldwide. Most infections with Listeria are sporadic, but outbreaks do occur. Pregnant women exposed to this organism are at increased risk of chorioamnionitis, preterm labour, prematurity and intrauterine fetal demise. Severe neonatal infection can also occur.

Cases: Two recent outbreaks in Canada prompted a reassessment of the prevalence and the perinatal impact of this disease. We describe here three cases of perinatal listeriosis. The aim of our report is to demonstrate the variable clinical presentations and to emphasize the difficulty in diagnosing perinatal listeriosis.

Conclusion: Perinatal listeriosis is a severe disease with many possible clinical presentations. Clinical diagnosis may be difficult, so clinicians must maintain a high index of suspicion.

Publication types

  • Case Reports

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Anti-Bacterial Agents / administration & dosage
  • Canada / epidemiology
  • Cesarean Section
  • Cheese / microbiology
  • Chorioamnionitis / drug therapy
  • Chorioamnionitis / microbiology
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Fatal Outcome
  • Female
  • Gestational Age
  • Heart Rate, Fetal
  • Humans
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Premature
  • Leukocytosis
  • Listeriosis / diagnosis*
  • Listeriosis / drug therapy
  • Listeriosis / epidemiology*
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / diagnosis*
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious / epidemiology*
  • Prognosis


  • Anti-Bacterial Agents