Listeria Infection Treatment in Pregnancy

Listeria infection known as listeriosis is an infection caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes. If exposed to this bacterium in pregnancy, A quick and precise treatments must be carried out because it will cause the risk of premature birth, miscarriage, and babies died after birth in pregnant women.

Listeria Infection Treatment in Pregnancy



In addition listeria infection in pregnancy can cause a variety of infections, including the occurrence of gastroenteritis characterized by vomiting and diarrhea, bacterial infection in the blood is bacteremia, pneumonia, meningitis, osteomielitisatau an infection in the bone, and endocarditis, or infection of the lining in heart.

According to the Center of Disease Control (CDC) as cited by American Pregnancy Association:
It is about 1,700 persons become seriously ill each year in the United States and among these, 260 will die. Although the CDC states that pregnant women are 20 times more likely to become infected than non-pregnant healthy adults, the number of cases of listeriosis in pregnant women is about 17%.


What is listeria?


Listeria is a dangerous infectious diseases that arise from eating food contaminated with the bacteria. These bacteria usually live in undercooked meat and dairy products. Listeriosis is a dangerous infection but rare. These bacteria can be found in soil, water and manure. Humans can be infected by eating contaminated food exposed to the bacteria.


Cause of Listeria 


  • Raw vegetables that have been contaminated from the soil or from manure used as fertilizer contaminated
  • contaminated Meat
  • The milk or unpasteurized food
  • Processed foods, such as soft cheeses, hot dogs and processed meats that have been contaminated after processing

The unborn baby can be infected with listeria from the mother through the placenta. Breastfeeding is not considered as a potential cause of listeria infection.

Listeria symptoms in pregnancy


Generally a listeria infection may trigger symptoms such as:


  • Fever
  • Muscle pain
  • Nausea
  • Diarrhea


Symptoms may begin a few days after eating contaminated food, but in some cases, it may take as long as two months before the first signs and symptoms of infection begin.

If the listeria infection spreads to the nervous system, signs and symptoms include:


  • Headache
  • Stiff neck
  • The confusion or changes in alertness
  • Loss of balance
  • Seizures


Symptoms during pregnancy and newborn baby


During pregnancy, a listeria infection tends to only cause mild symptoms in the mother. The baby may die suddenly before birth or life-threatening infections in the first few days after birth.

As in adults, the signs and symptoms of listeria infection in newborns can be mild, but may include:


  • A little interest in eating
  • Irritability
  • Fever
  • Vomiting


Prevention for Listeria Infection


The best way to treat these infections is by increasing immunity by eating a healthy diet. In addition, of course, there are drugs to treat this disease. But basically prevention is better than doing medication.

During pregnancy you can take steps to make prevention of listeriosis. Although there is no vaccine against the bacteria that causes listeriosis, you can help reduce the risk to your family by taking safety precautions on the consumption of certain foods:


  • Always cook food, especially meat and eggs thoroughly to the proper temperature. Avoid consuming foods that are half-baked.


  • Wash all vegetables and fruits before consumption.


  • Consume whole milk pasteurization, and make sure that the milk is cooled to the appropriate temperature, which is less than 40 ° F (4 ° C). Also avoid foods made from unpasteurized milk.


  • For those of you having a problem with the immune system should avoid the consumption of cheese unless the cheese has labels that clearly state they are made from pasteurized milk.


  • You can heat the packaged food such as canned meat to ensure the microorganisms do not interfere with your health and your baby.


  • Washing hands and equipment after handling or processing raw foods.
  • Do not use the cutting tool such as a knife that had been used to cut meat while cleaning or cutting vegetables.
  • Clean the refrigerator regularly, because listeria can grow therein.
  • Do not eat leftovers after a few days, unless otherwise stated can be preheated course with a high temperature before consumption.



Treatment for listeria in Pregnancy


Despite the relatively rare cases of listeriosis in pregnant women but for individuals who experience a decline and problems with the immune'll develop this risk. So it is important to know the symptoms of listeriosis and consult your doctor. It is for immediate treatment and minimizes the serious infections that can threaten the mother and fetus.

Treatment with antibiotics is the fastest and most efficient method. Patients are usually hospitalized. Antibiotics are injected directly into the bloodstream. Treatment with antibiotics usually lasts for 2 weeks. For pregnant women with impaired immune systems are impaired by disease or infection further increase the risk of severe listeriosis infection and requires serious treatment.


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