Listeria monocytogenes is a topic covered in the Johns Hopkins HIV Guide.

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MICROBIOLOGY

  • 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. [2]
    • 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.

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Last updated: February 1, 2015