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Listeriosis in pregnancy: under-diagnosis despite over-treatment



To compare the symptomatology of pregnant women with suspected listeriosis to culture confirmed listeriosis.

Study Design:

All cases of suspected and culture confirmed pregnancy-associated listeriosis from a single center were retrospectively reviewed assessing demographics, clinical, laboratory and pathological findings, and maternal, fetal and neonatal outcomes.


Listeriosis was identified in seven patients, none of whom belonged to the 117 women with suspected listeriosis. Women with confirmed infection were more likely to exhibit fever (P=0.01), flu-like symptoms (P=0.006), threatened preterm labor (P=0.05) and inflammatory markers (P=0.02), but less likely to exhibit gastrointestinal complaints (P=0.004) in comparison with suspected non-confirmed cases. Confirmed cases resulted in preterm delivery (n=5) and stillbirth (n=2). Neonatal complications included meningitis, respiratory disease and sepsis. Maternal outcomes were favorable.


Although ‘febrile gastroenteritis’ is a poor predictor of listeriosis in pregnancy, fever, premature contractions and inflammatory markers are important risk indices prompting workup and adequate empiric treatment.

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Correspondence to S Shinar.

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The authors declare no conflict of interest.

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Fouks, Y., Amit, S., Many, A. et al. Listeriosis in pregnancy: under-diagnosis despite over-treatment. J Perinatol 38, 26–30 (2018).

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