Sunday, January 16

Recall of contaminated reblochon: what is listeriosis?

Batches of reblochon, marketed by the Monoprix sign were the subject, this Monday, January 3, of a recall because of a possible presence of listeria, a bacterium which can be at the origin of a food infection called listeriosis. But what is this disease?

Listeriosis is a disease well known to physicians. The disease was indeed highlighted for the first time in 1926.

On his website, the Ministry of Health writes that “human contamination by listeria monocytogenes (of its full name, Editor’s note) is essentially food (dairy products – in particular raw milk cheeses – certain meats, seafood, vegetables) ) ”.

“The bacteria can contaminate all stages of the food chain by colonizing food manufacturing sites. As it is sensitive to heat, it is in principle absent from cooked foods and preserves, except if contamination occurs after cooking ”, it is further specified.

But “because of its ability to multiply at low temperature, listeria is often present in refrigerated foods with a long shelf life”, takes care to specify the Ministry of Health.

Serious infections are possible

In the event of human infection, listeria can be responsible for serious complications, especially in fragile populations.

After an incubation lasting from a few days to several weeks (on average about a week depending on the clinical form), the disease usually results in a more or less high fever, accompanied by headaches and, sometimes, digestive disorders (nausea). , diarrhea, vomiting, etc.).

In fact, listeriosis can manifest itself either through damage to the central nervous system, causing meningitis or meningoencephalitis, or through sepsis (presence of the bacteria in the blood).

Listeriosis mainly affects immunocompromised people (people with cancer or untreated HIV, transplant patients, hemodialysis patients, etc.). Pregnant women, newborns and the elderly are also a prime target.

In pregnant women, it can cause abortion or premature childbirth but can also be responsible for a neonatal infection (infection at the birth of a newborn).

The diagnosis of Listeria infection can be made through medical tests. The disease is confirmed after isolation of Listeria monocytogenes from blood, placenta, cerebrospinal fluid, etc.

Finally, human listeriosis has been a notifiable disease since 1998. This means that the doctor or the medical analysis laboratory must inform the health authorities when he detects a case of listeriosis.

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