Listeria Monocytogenes

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Listeria monocytogenes is Gram-positive bacterium from phylum Firmicutes. It is facultative anaerobe and motile by flagella at 30 ºC and below. This intracellular pathogen is the cause of food-borne disease listeriosis, with mortality rate about 24%. According to Center for Diseases Control and Prevention, about 1,600 people infected by listeriosis, resulting in 260 death annually.

There are many opportunities for this bacteria to contaminate our food. As it is ubiquitous in environment, L. monocytogenes can be naturally found in soil and vegetables. In addition to that, it is found in stale water, dairy products, and domestic animals. Unlike most bacteria, it can survive in low temperature between -18 ºC to 10 ºC, making it possible to be transmitted in ready-to-eat food that have been stored and refrigerated properly.

Listeriosis can cause illness like sepsis, meningitis, and encephalitis. It can be severe and lead to death. People who are immunocompromised, elders, pregnant women, and newborns are at high risk of getting this infection. Treatment includes using of antibiotics such as ampicillin and gentacimin.