Listeria bacteria, SEM. © Science Photo Library

Listeriosis is a disease caused by Listeria monocytogenes. The disease primarily causes problems in pregnant women, newborns, and adults with a weakened immune system. After exposure, most healthy adults do not develop any symptoms, except in the case of pregnant women. After an incubation period of about three weeks pregnant women may suffer from a self-limiting influenza-like illness which may affect the uterus. In addition, listeriosis in adults with weakened immune system and the elderly may lead to meningitis, brain infection, and severe blood infection.

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