Listeriosis during pregnancy: a retrospective cohort study

BMC Pregnancy Childbirth. 2022 Mar 28;22(1):261. doi: 10.1186/s12884-022-04613-2.


Background: Pregnancy-associated listeriosis is a severe infectious disease and potentially leads to fetal/neonatal fatal, while limited information on pregnancy-associated listeriosis is available in China. This study aimed to reveal the clinical characteristics and outcomes of pregnancy-associated listeriosis cases and provide references for treating and managing this disease.

Methods: We performed a retrospective study on maternal and neonatal patients with pregnancy-associated listeriosis. The clinical characteristics of pregnancy-associated listeriosis were studied, and the outcome determinants of neonatal listeriosis were explored.

Results: 14 cases of pregnancy-associated listeriosis were identified. The incidence of pregnancy-associated listeriosis in our hospital was 16.69/100,000 births. All of the 14 maternal patients eventually recovered after delivery shortly with no sequelae. None of the 12 mothers who delivered in this hospital received antepartum first-line empirical treatment. Among the 14 neonatal cases, 1 was late-onset listeriosis and 13 were early-onset cases; 11 survived and 3 died. Fatality rates were significantly higher in outborn neonates (P = 0.005). Besides, higher mortality rates were observed in neonates with lower birth weight (P = 0.038), gestational age < 28 weeks (P = 0.056), and Apgar score (5th min) < 5 (P = 0.056), with marginally significant differences.

Conclusions: Pregnancy-associated listeriosis would bring disastrous effects to the neonatal cases, especially to the outborn, low birth weight, and low gestational age of neonates. Timely detection and treatment should be taken seriously for the key neonates. How to early detect L. monocytogenes infected cases, especially in the prenatal stage, remains a serious challenge.

Keywords: Listeria monocytogenes; Maternal listeriosis; Neonatal listeriosis; Outcome; Pregnancy-associated listeriosis.

MeSH terms

  • Female
  • Humans
  • Infant
  • Infant, Newborn
  • Infant, Newborn, Diseases* / epidemiology
  • Listeria monocytogenes*
  • Listeriosis* / diagnosis
  • Listeriosis* / drug therapy
  • Listeriosis* / epidemiology
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / epidemiology
  • Retrospective Studies