Journal Article

An Outbreak of Febrile Gastroenteritis Associated with Delicatessen Meat Contaminated with <i>Listeria monocytogenes</i>

Douglas M. Frye, Rachael Zweig, Joan Sturgeon, Michael Tormey, Michelle LeCavalier, Irene Lee, Leonard Lawani and Laurene Mascola

in Clinical Infectious Diseases

Published on behalf of Infectious Diseases Society of America

Volume 35, issue 8, pages 943-949
Published in print October 2002 | ISSN: 1058-4838
Published online October 2002 | e-ISSN: 1537-6591 | DOI: https://dx.doi.org/10.1086/342582
An Outbreak of Febrile Gastroenteritis Associated with Delicatessen Meat Contaminated with Listeria monocytogenes

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In June 2001, the Los Angeles County Department of Health Services/Public Health conducted a cohort study of an outbreak of acute febrile gastroenteritis among 16 of 44 healthy attendees of a catered party. The median age of the attendees who became ill was 15.5 years. Symptoms included body aches (in 88% of attendees), fever (81%), headache (81%), diarrhea (63%), and vomiting (56%). Illness was associated with ingestion of precooked, sliced turkey (P = .000004). Six stool specimens yielded Listeria monocytogenes. Leftover turkey yielded L. monocytogenes, 1.6 × 109 cfu/g. All isolates were serotype 1/2a and had matching molecular fingerprints. Clusters of suspect cases were identified among attendees at 2 other catered events, but no additional cases were confirmed. This is only the third reported outbreak of L. monocytogenes–associated gastroenteritis in the United States. In cases of febrile gastroenteritis for which routine cultures for enteric pathogens are negative, clinicians should suspect listeriosis and should consider asking laboratories to retain stool specimens to expedite testing for Listeria organisms.

Journal Article.  4361 words.  Illustrated.

Subjects: Infectious Diseases ; Immunology ; Public Health and Epidemiology ; Microbiology

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