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Neonatal listeriosis: a rare but not-to-be forgotten infection
  1. Gretell Gomez and
  2. Shamim Islam
  1. Department of Pediatrics, University at Buffalo, Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences, Buffalo, New York, USA
  1. Correspondence to Dr Gretell Gomez; gretellg{at}


Listeria monocytogenes is a foodborne pathogen, typically associated with contaminated dairy products and deli meats. L. monocytogenes can lead to severe infections in high-risk patient populations; in neonates, listeriosis is rare but carries a high rate of neurological morbidity and mortality. Here a case of neonatal listeriosis, in the newborn of a young Hispanic mother who frequently ate queso fresco (a fresh Mexican cheese), is presented. Pregnant women are commonly counselled to avoid unpasteurised dairy during the pregnancy, but many are unaware that soft cheeses, and other food products, may pose risks for perinatal infection. L. monocytogenes remains a cause of food-related outbreaks and maternal and neonatal sepsis around the world, and healthcare providers should ensure that expectant mothers are carefully counselled regarding potential sources.

  • Infectious diseases
  • Paediatrics
  • Obstetrics and gynaecology
  • Public health
  • Global Health

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  • Contributors SI provided the initial idea for the case report based on a real life patient case he managed. SI reviewed literature and edited the case report at every step, up until submission.

  • Funding The authors have not declared a specific grant for this research from any funding agency in the public, commercial or not-for-profit sectors.

  • Case reports provide a valuable learning resource for the scientific community and can indicate areas of interest for future research. They should not be used in isolation to guide treatment choices or public health policy.

  • Competing interests None declared.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.