Listeriosis in renal transplant recipients: report of an outbreak and review of 102 cases.

Academic Article


  • We observed six renal transplant recipients with listeriosis during a 10-week period in the autumn of 1979. Investigation of this outbreak established that the first four cases wer close contacts, all infected by Listeria monocytogenes serotype 1b. The source of infection and route of spread were not identified. A total of 102 renal transplant recipients with listeriosis have now been reported. The major manifestation of disease was meningitis in 50% of the patients, parenchymal disease of the central nervous system in 10%, both meningitis and parenchymal disease of the central nervous system in 9%, and primary bacteremia in 30%. The overall mortality rate was 26%. Pneumonia due to L. monocytogenes, a previously neglected finding, was present in seven patients (7%); five of the seven died. The route of transmission may sometimes be respiratory. Special techniques for isolation of L. monocytogenes from sputum are usually required but not complicated. We recommend that individual renal transplant patients with listeriosis be cared for with secretion and excretion precautions and that they be treated with ampicillin and gentamicin. We advocate the serotyping of all isolates and a careful case-control analysis of all epidemics, but we do not support the use of serologic testing or surveillance cultures.
  • Published In

    Digital Object Identifier (doi)

    Author List

  • Stamm AM; Dismukes WE; Simmons BP; Cobbs CG; Elliott A; Budrich P; Harmon J
  • Start Page

  • 665
  • End Page

  • 682
  • Volume

  • 4
  • Issue

  • 3