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Listeriosis

A sporadic disease of animals and humans, particularly those who are immunocompromised or pregnant, caused by the bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes (family, Listeriaceae). The infection in sheep and cattle frequently involves the central nervous system, causing various neurologic signs; in monogastric animals and fowl, the chief manifestations are septicemia and necrosis of the liver. Meningitis, abortion, pneumonia, endocarditis, and focal metastatic disease are associated with listeriosis. Significant foodborne illness. Origin in soil, water, silage, fecal contamination of field vegetables, improperly processed food (inadequate sterilization, punctured tins, inadequate pasteurization); very resistant organism (resists salt, acid, heat and nitrite preservatives. Can replicate at normally safe refrigerator temperatures (slow growth at 24o F.)
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