Perinatal listeriosis: A population based multicenter study in Barcelona, Spain (1990-1996)

Juan Nolla-Salas, Jordi Bosch, Isabel Gasser, Luis Viñas, Mercè De Simon, Manuel Almela, Cristina Latorre, Pere Coll, Maria Dolors Ferrer

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The aim off this study was to describe the incidence, epidemiology, clinical presentation, and outcome of perinatal listeriosis for a 7-year period (1990-1996) based on data of an active population-based surveillance project implemented in the city of Barcelona, Spain. There were 30 cases (20.8%) associated with pregnancy (15 pregnant women, 13 neonates, and 2 fetal deaths). The incidence of perinatal listeriosis varied from 4.1 to 0 per 10,000 live births. The proportion of perinatal cases in relation to the total number of cases of listeriosis varied between 0 and 42%. Early-onset neonatal sepsis accounted for 12 of 13 live births. The mean age of infected pregnant women with listeriosis was 30.1 ± 2.0 years. Chorioamnionitis was the predominant clinical form (86.7%). Only two mothers had primary bacteremia by L. monocytogenes in the second trimester of pregnancy. Both infants were born healthy, without signs of infection. One of these mothers was infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV). Since January 1994, 12 strains were available for serotyping and phagotyping; 9 belonged to serovar 4b, 2 to serovar 1/2b, and 1 to serovar 1/2a. No outbreaks of L. monocytogenes infection occurred during the study period. The overall neonatal mortality rate was 7.7% among infected live births. All pregnant women were treated with ampicillin and none died. Early antenatal treatment with ampicillin improves neonatal outcome and can result in the birth of healthy babies.
Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)461-467
JournalAmerican Journal of Perinatology
Issue number8
Publication statusPublished - 1 Jan 1998


  • Ampicillin
  • Listeria monocytogenes
  • Perinatal listeriosis
  • Population-based study


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