Listeriosis Outbreaks and Associated Food Vehicles, United States, 1998-2008

Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Jan;19(1):1-9; quiz 184. doi: 10.3201/eid1901.120393.

Abstract

Listeria monocytogenes, a bacterial foodborne pathogen, can cause meningitis, bacteremia, and complications during pregnancy. This report summarizes listeriosis outbreaks reported to the Foodborne Disease Outbreak Surveillance System of the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention during 1998-2008. The study period includes the advent of PulseNet (a national molecular subtyping network for outbreak detection) in 1998 and the Listeria Initiative (enhanced surveillance for outbreak investigation) in 2004. Twenty-four confirmed listeriosis outbreaks were reported during 1998-2008, resulting in 359 illnesses, 215 hospitalizations, and 38 deaths. Outbreaks earlier in the study period were generally larger and longer. Serotype 4b caused the largest number of outbreaks and outbreak-associated cases. Ready-to-eat meats caused more early outbreaks, and novel vehicles (i.e., sprouts, taco/nacho salad) were associated with outbreaks later in the study period. These changes may reflect the effect of PulseNet and the Listeria Initiative and regulatory initiatives designed to prevent contamination in ready-to-eat meat and poultry products.

MeSH terms

  • Adolescent
  • Adult
  • Child
  • Child, Preschool
  • Disease Outbreaks*
  • Epidemiological Monitoring
  • Female
  • Food Contamination
  • Food Microbiology
  • Foodborne Diseases / epidemiology*
  • Foodborne Diseases / microbiology
  • Foodborne Diseases / mortality
  • Humans
  • Incidence
  • Infant
  • Listeria monocytogenes / classification
  • Listeria monocytogenes / pathogenicity*
  • Listeriosis / epidemiology*
  • Listeriosis / microbiology
  • Male
  • Meat / microbiology*
  • Meat Products / microbiology*
  • Middle Aged
  • Pregnancy
  • Serotyping
  • Survival Analysis
  • United States / epidemiology
  • Vegetables / microbiology*