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- A small non-sporulating, catalase positive, gram-positive bacillus. Grows well at 4-10oC (i.e. refrigerator temperature).
- It may appear as a gram-variable coccus, diplococcus, or diphtheroid. 
- Monocytosis-inducing in rabbits, uncommon in humans.
- Widespread in nature; recovered from raw milk, fruits and vegetables, deli meats, and soft cheeses.
- Colonizes colon in adults (5%).
- Transmission is food-borne and vertical, mother to fetus.
- Intracellular pathogen, immunity is T-cell mediated.