Infections

Expert reports about Infections


INFORMATION FOR WOMEN WHO HAVE LISTERIOSIS WHILE PREGNANT OR BREASTFEEDING

 

What is listeriosis?

Listeriosis is a disease caused by eating food contaminated with a species of bacteria called Listeria monocytogenes. In other words, it is a type of food poisoning. The foods with the highest risk are ready-to-eat food foods, packaged foods designed for long shelf-lives, soft cheeses, deli meats, and raw seafood, including sushi.

 

How common is listeriosis during pregnancy?

Listeria disease is fairly rare, but the risk of getting sick from this organism is highest in newborn infants, people with a compromised immune system (such as people with AIDS and those taking certain medications), elderly people, and especially pregnant women. In fact, if you are pregnant, your risk of developing listeriosis is 18 times higher than that of people in the general population. Scientists think this is because of particular aspects of the immune system not working as well during pregnancy.


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