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Listeriosis

Listeriosis (synonym listeriosis) is an infectious disease belonging to the group of zoonoses, characterized by a polymorphic clinical picture.

Etiology. The causative agent of listeriosis - Listeria monocytogenes - belongs to the group of microbes of the genus Listeria. Listerias have the appearance of sticks and cocci with flagella, mobile.

Epidemiology . Listeriosis is widespread among rodents, pigs, cattle, horses, birds, less often - among cats, dogs. In humans, listeriosis occurs sporadically. The main source of infection is infected food of animal origin. Human infection is also possible through the inhalation of infected dust. Cases of infection through chicken eggs, with human bites from sick animals infected with ticks, as well as through scratches (at meat processing plants) are described. Possible intrauterine infection.

Pathogenesis . Entrance gates of infection are the gastrointestinal tract, tonsils, damaged skin and mucous membranes. The lymphogenous and hematogenous pathways of listeria spread throughout the body and can affect any organs and tissues. Often the process is localized in the central nervous system and meningeal membranes.

Pathological anatomy . The disease proceeds as sepsis with the formation of miliary necrosis and granulomas in almost all organs. Often affects the liver , spleen , adrenal glands, lungs, pharynx, esophagus , gastrointestinal tract, central nervous system and skin.

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The clinical picture (signs and symptoms). Polymorphism of a clinical course is characteristic of listeriosis. The incubation period lasts up to two weeks. The disease may be accompanied by fever, chills, headache, sore throat, symptoms of eye damage, swollen lymph nodes, a rash on the skin, catarrhal symptoms of the upper respiratory tract, dyspeptic symptoms, enlargement of the liver and spleen, pain in the limbs, muscular weakness up to paresis of the limbs. Possible development of meningitis, encephalitis and meningoencephalitis. In the blood: leukopenia, an increase in mononuclears (up to 70% and above) with a predominance of lymphocytes, monocytosis is often observed.

Diagnosis based on the clinical picture is difficult to make. To isolate Listeria, detachment of the conjunctiva, pharynx, genital tract, blood, urine, cerebrospinal fluid , meconium of the newborn is examined , and agglutination, complement fixation, precipitation, and indirect hemagglutination tests are performed.

Treatment is complex. Apply broad-spectrum antibiotics, sulfa drugs and symptomatic agents.

Prevention includes veterinary and sanitary measures to identify listeriosis among animals, the fight against rodents, sanitary inspection at food enterprises. Specific prevention is not developed.

Listeriosis of newborns is a serious disease that occurs as a result of intrauterine infection. Infection of the fetus occurs through the placenta from patients with listeriosis in pregnant women.

The clinical picture is characterized by symptoms of a septic condition, as well as dysfunction of the respiratory and circulatory organs. Newborns have bouts of respiratory failure (apnea), cardiovascular weakness, shortness of breath . Apnea is difficult to treat, often leading to death. The disease can occur with increasing temperature. The liver and spleen are usually enlarged. Changes in the lungs are clinically reminiscent of bronchopneumonia, and radiologically miliary tuberculosis; characteristic papular and petechial rash on the skin. Sometimes it proceeds as purulent meningitis with high fever, convulsions, opisthotonus, with changes in the cerebrospinal fluid. The disease can result in the death of the fetus in the period of intrauterine development . Preterm labor is often observed. Often children die in the first days of life.

Treatment . Penicillin is used in standard dosages, vitamins, mainly groups B and C, general strengthening therapy.