Listeria monocytogenes – Part 3
Infection with L monoctyogenes can cause several different clinical syndromes, including a flu-like illness and sepsis. The most feared complication is an infection of the central nervous system (CNS), where it causes an acute meningitis. Although the bacteria is present in the brain and cerebral spinal fluid, laboratory Gram stain is positive in only about 25% of infections. It can sometimes (but not always) cause a variation in the level of glucose found in the CSF, as well as the number of lymphocytes.
The bacteria characteristically infect the base of the brain, with resultant characteristic deficits seen in the cranial nerve functioning. It can also cause hydrocephalus (buildup of fluid and pressure in the brain) and brain abscesses.
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