Listeriosis: everything you need to know if you are pregnant

Foods that you must avoid to prevent listeria in pregnancy,"childbirth was accelerated by the listeriosis and our baby was saved by a miracle"These are the sy

Listeriosis: everything you need to know if you are pregnant
Foods that you must avoid to prevent listeria in pregnancy,"childbirth was accelerated by the listeriosis and our baby was saved by a miracle"These are the symptoms of listeria, the bacteria most lethal of food

This summer of 2019 has been a major outbreak of listeriosis in Spain with origins in Andalusia. The company of the province of Seville, Magrudis, through brand of shredded beef, The Mechá, was the source of this listeria outbreak that still continues to claim victims.. we Spoke with the pediatric neurologist and director of the Andalusian Institute of Pediatric Neurology Manuel Fernández, who explains to ABC everything that a pregnant woman needs to know about listeriosis to be well informed and knowing how to take the right decisions to avoid a spread of listeria.

Listeria, what is it?

Listeria monocytogenes is the scientific name of this bacterium so dangerous. Listeria is a bacterium with a lot of risk when it results in food infections due to the following characteristics:

—Is commonly found on different surfaces and especially in the food

—Grows at temperatures very varied ranging from 1 to 45 degrees

—moves easily below 37 degrees

—Will benefit from environments with a high salt content.

Where is the bacteria?

As you can see, its characteristics help us to understand why it has grown with ease in a food such as the carne mechada. Its main habitat is the soil, and on decaying vegetable matter. Even so, listeria has been detected in many other places, such as:


—In on decaying vegetable matter

—waste Water

—Food for animals

—Chicken fresh and frozen-thawed

—fresh Foods and processed foods such as cheese, milk is not processed...

—Waste of the slaughterhouses, as well as in the digestive tract of humans and animals are asymptomatic.

Due to its wide distribution, this microorganism has many opportunities to contaminate food in different steps of the food production, this being the way they are most often for acquiring the infection.

Foods implicated in listeriosis

The number of foods implicated in listeria infection can be very broad. These are the most common:

—fresh Cheese, tender cheese or semi soft as well as the cured mold type roquefort...

—processed and processed meat Products; pate; salami...

—Mushroom savoury

—fish Roe, smoked mussels, fish insufficiently cooked, olives in vinegar, raw vegetables...

What is it and how is it spread listeria?

listeria infection have between a 20% and a 30% risk of death, remember this pediatric neurologist. "It is important to prevent the spread of listeria. Given that the main route of transmission is ingestion of contaminated food, it is critical to be able to prevent their consumption to prevent infection by listeria," notes Fernández.

What makes listeria? What organs it affects?

Listeria Monocytogenes is acquired by the digestive pathway through the cells of the intestinal epithelium . From within these cells begins to multiply and invade other territories. In this way, passing from cell to cell and hides so as not to attract the attention of the immune system. You can reach any organ of the body with this system

Listerioris in pregnant women

Listeria infection in pregnant women is a high-risk disease. Listeriosis affects the fetus with great ease and can lead to serious complications such as abortions or neurological sequelae.

listeria can cause meningitis or meningoencephalitis in individuals of risk as newborns, the elderly, or people with the lowered immunity (immunocompromised), such as those who are in treatment with chemotherapy for example.

Listerioris in children. Symptoms of suspected

The majority of infections by listeria in children cause symptoms of little consequence impossible to differentiate from gastroenteritis. The most common are the following.




—abdominal Pain


In certain occasions, in children with problems in the defenses, this may complicate matters so much more serious and cause symptoms neurological with involvement of the meninges and the brain.

How is a diagnosis of the infection by listeria?

as indicated by this pediatric neurologist, for the diagnosis of listeriosis is important to have a high degree of clinical suspicion and pro-actively seek the antecedent patterns of consumption of suspect food.

Later on there are that analyze samples of blood or other fluids of the person alleged to be affected to check for the presence of the bacteria. Sometimes it is necessary to analyze the liquid from the column or the amniotic fluid of pregnant women

to Prevent listeria. This is what you do

does someone it is a dish of good taste to spend a infection digestive? In this way, you are or not pregnant, Fernández recommends that you follow these recommendations. Much more if you have a situation of low defenses or your child is especially fragile in this sense:

—Follow the prompts stricter washing of hands prior to the meal.

— thoroughly Wash all foods that require it, especially fruits and vegetables. Prevents its consumption outside the home if you're pregnant.

—Cooking food to the proper temperature. Do not eat raw foods not treated if you're expecting a child.

—Avoid drinking unpasteurized milk or make cheese made with raw milk. Check the labels and don't take it out of the house

The treatment of listeria

The treatment of listeria infection depends on the level of risk and seriousness of each case. It is not the same to treat a case of mild infection in a healthy person to another in a pregnant woman.

The treatment of infections caused by listeria in pregnant women is based on antibiotics. There should be a period of intravenous treatment of about 10 days followed by a period of oral treatment about three weeks.

the early treatment of listeriosis in pregnancy greatly improves the prognosis in order to avoid abortions, in comparison with up to a 50% fetal mortality without treatment.

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Date Of Update: 16 September 2019, 09:00

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