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A Journal on Pediatrics, Neonatology, Adolescent Medicine,
Child and Adolescent Psychiatry

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Minerva Pediatrica 2006 August;58(4):391-4

language: Italian

A case of Listeria Monocytogenes meningitis in an immunoccompetent infant

Pattarino G., Arrigoni S., Grazioli R., De Palma A., di Natale B.

Clinica Pediatrica Ospedale L. Sacco, Milano


Listeria Monocytogenes meningitis is a rare affection after the neonatal period, but in immunocompromised patients. Listeria Mono-cytogenes is a Gram-positive, facultative intracellular bacterium frequently causing infection in pregnant women, in patients with cell-mediated immunity deficit and in the early and late stages of life. We present a case of Listeria Monocytogenes meningitis in an immunocompetent nomad 8-month-child, preceded by gastroenteritis. Although gastrointestinal symptoms may be due to intestinal infection by Listeria, the concomitant presence of other bacteric or viral enteric pathogens may have promoted bacterium intestinal translocation and generated disseminated disease. The main transmission route of infection after the neonatal period is ingestion of contaminated food. A diet history was taken after isolation of the bacterium in liquor and showed that the child was an eater of undercooked hot-dogs. Despite the frequency of clinical complication in such affection, the outcome in this patient was a complete recovery. Although the infection is extremely infrequent in healthy children, physicians should always consider Listeria as a possible etiologic agent of meningitis in pediatric patients, regardless of their age or immunological status, especially in patients living in precarious sanitary conditions, where weaning times and conditions are not respected and a suitable food cooking is not assured.

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