Listeria molecular testing is used for rapid and accurate laboratory documentation of listeriosis.
Listeria monocytogenes, although an uncommon cause of disease in the general population, is an important pathogen for pregnant, newborn, elderly, and immunocompromised individuals. Patients with cancer, especially blood cancer, are also at high risk for Listeria infection.
Listeria is a mobile, non-sporogenic, Gram-positive bacillus with aerobic and optionally anaerobic characteristics. It grows best in neutral to slightly alkaline pH and can grow in a wide range of temperatures, from 1 to 45°C.
Listeria is usually transmitted through food. Listeria monocytogenes is also a common veterinary pathogen associated with miscarriages and encephalitis in sheep and cattle. It can be isolated from soil, water, and vegetation. Most infections occur after ingestion of the bacillus. The microbe then penetrates the intestine and gains access to the systemic circulation.
The most common clinical manifestation of listeriosis is diarrhea. With a mild appearance of fever, nausea, vomiting, and diarrhea it may look like common gastroenteritis. Bacteremia, endocarditis, and meningitis are more serious manifestations of the disease and usually affect high-risk individuals. If Listeria infections are not recognized and treated early, they can lead to significant morbidity and mortality. Rarely, the infection can manifest as septic arthritis, osteomyelitis, and pneumonia.
Laboratory test results are the most important parameter for the diagnosis and monitoring of all pathological conditions. 70%-80% of diagnostic decisions are based on laboratory tests. The correct interpretation of laboratory results allows a doctor to distinguish "healthy" from "diseased".
Laboratory test results should not be interpreted from the numerical result of a single analysis. Test results should be interpreted in relation to each individual case and family history, clinical findings, and the results of other laboratory tests and information. Your personal physician should explain the importance of your test results.
At Diagnostiki Athinon we answer any questions you may have about the test you perform in our laboratory and we contact your doctor to get the best possible medical care.