Current Epidemiologic Status and Public Health Importance of Listeriosis: A Review

Document Type : Review Article


1 Jimma university college of agriculture and veterinary medicine

2 School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine Jimma University, Jimma Ethiopia

3 School of Veterinary Medicine, College of Agriculture and Veterinary Medicine, Jimma University, Jimma Ethiopia


Listeriosis is a bacterial disease caused by different Listeria species; among these Listeria monocytogenes are the most pathogenic species of ruminant animals and humans. The objective of this paper is to review current updates on epidemiology and public health significance of Listeriosis. The disease is an acute infectious disease of central nervous system, with associated abortions occurring in pregnant cattle. Reservoirs of infection are the soil and the intestinal tracts of asymptomatic animals, including wild and feral mammals, birds and fish. Most infections are acquired by ingestion, but Listeria can also spread by inhalation or direct contact in addition to venereal transmission. In animals, Listeriosis typically occurs after the consumption of contaminated silage or other feed sources, whereas contaminated food sources like raw meat and fish, unpasteurized dairy products and uncooked vegetables are good source of the infection in humans. Listeriosis in animals can manifest in an encephalitic or in a septicemia or abortive form. The diseases can be tentatively diagnosed based on clinical signs and its confirmation is achieved through serological test and blood culture. Listeriosis has similar clinical sign with other disease such as rabies, Coenurosis, and Scrapie. Response to antibiotic therapy may be poor in neural listeriosis although prolonged high doses of ampicillin or amoxicillin combined with an aminoglycosides may be effective to prevent listeriosis in animals. In general, prevention depends on protection of animals feed and keeping the safety all food from animal origin. Moreover avoid eating and drinking uncooked meat and unpasteurized milk productss.