- A small facultative, anaerobic, catalase-positive, Gram-positive bacillus.
- Grows well at 4-10o C. Refrigerator temperature is 4o C.
- Tumbling motility seen under light microscope at room temperature.
- Maintain a high index of clinical suspicion for Listeria if "diphtheroids" are identified in CSF or blood because Listeria may be misidentified as Corynebacterium or Lactobacillus.
- Widespread in nature; recovered from raw milk, soft cheeses, fruits and vegetables, processed deli meats, and undercooked fish, poultry, and meats.
- Transmission is food-borne and vertical, mother to fetus.
- Iron is important virulence factor, and iron overload is associated with enhanced susceptibility to infection
- Immunity is predominantly cell-mediated and established via T-cell-mediated activation of macrophages.
- Cell-to-cell spread of L. monocytogenes avoids contact with extracellular environment and allows evasion of host defenses.
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Last updated: September 3, 2021
Spacek, Lisa A. "Listeria Monocytogenes." Johns Hopkins HIV Guide, 2021. Johns Hopkins Guides, www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545122/all/Listeria_monocytogenes.
Spacek LA. Listeria monocytogenes. Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. 2021. https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545122/all/Listeria_monocytogenes. Accessed June 1, 2023.
Spacek, L. A. (2021). Listeria monocytogenes. In Johns Hopkins HIV Guide https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545122/all/Listeria_monocytogenes
Spacek LA. Listeria Monocytogenes [Internet]. In: Johns Hopkins HIV Guide. ; 2021. [cited 2023 June 01]. Available from: https://www.hopkinsguides.com/hopkins/view/Johns_Hopkins_HIV_Guide/545122/all/Listeria_monocytogenes.
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