Listeriosis during pregnancy

Obstet Gynecol Surv. 1998 Dec;53(12):737-40. doi: 10.1097/00006254-199812000-00004.


Listeriosis is an uncommon infection that has a unique predilection for pregnant women and may result in pregnancy loss. Contaminated food is the usual source of infection, and increased federal surveillance of foodstuffs is the most effective strategy for prevention of disease. Although dramatic epidemics have received the most publicity, more cases of perinatal listeriosis are isolated. If Listeria chorioamnionitis is diagnosed preterm, in contrast to other types of chorioamnionitis, in utero therapy with high-dose penicillin or trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole is possible, and preterm delivery may be avoided. The clinical characteristics of neonatal listeriosis are similar to neonatal Group B Streptococcus sepsis, with early and late onset forms of disease. The epidemiology, diagnosis, and management of Listeria infection in pregnancy are reviewed.

Publication types

  • Review

MeSH terms

  • Abortion, Habitual / microbiology
  • Chorioamnionitis / drug therapy
  • Chorioamnionitis / microbiology
  • Female
  • Humans
  • Listeriosis* / diagnosis
  • Listeriosis* / drug therapy
  • Pregnancy
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / diagnosis
  • Pregnancy Complications, Infectious* / drug therapy