Listeria monocytogenes Peritonitis: Case Report and Literature Review

Jocelyn J. Sivalingam, Paul Martin, Henry S. Fraimow, Joseph C. Yarze, Lawrence S. Friedman

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

34 Scopus citations


Listeria monocytogenes is a Gram-positive bacillus that is pathogenic in both the normal and compromised host. We describe Listeria peritonitis and cerebritis in a patient with cirrhosis due to non-A, non-B hepatitis, and review the 11 other cases of Listeria peritonitis reported in the English- language literature. Listeria is a rare cause of peritonitis in debilitated, older patients, with two-thirds of the cases occurring in patients with chronic liver disease. Listeria peritonitis may also occur in patients undergoing peritoneal dialysis, or in those with malignancy. Peritonitis due to Listeria is clinically similar to spontaneous bacterial peritonitis, and is associated with fever, variable abdominal pain, and neutrocytic ascites; bacteremia commonly accompanies Listeria peritonitis. This syndrome can be successfully treated with antimicrobial drugs, although the third-generation cephalosporins commonly used in the therapy of spontaneous bacterial peritonitis are not recommended. Ampicillin may be the drug of choice, with combination therapy with an aminoglycoside reserved for cases that do not respond to ampicillin alone.

Original languageEnglish (US)
Pages (from-to)1839-1845
Number of pages7
JournalThe American journal of gastroenterology
Issue number12
StatePublished - Dec 1992
Externally publishedYes

ASJC Scopus subject areas

  • Hepatology
  • Gastroenterology


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