Listeria monocytogenes

Listeria monocytogenes

MATERIAL SAFETY DATA SHEET - INFECTIOUS SUBSTANCES

SECTION I - INFECTIOUS AGENT

NAME: Listeria monocytogenes

SYNONYM OR CROSS REFERENCE: Listeriosis, Listerella

CHARACTERISTICS: Gram-positive, non-spore forming, aerobic bacilli; hemolytic and catalase positive; tendency to form chains and palisades, growth at 4° C, intracellular; food-borne human pathogen usually caused by serovars 1/2a, 1/2b and 4b

SECTION II - HEALTH HAZARD

PATHOGENICITY: Opportunistic pathogen manifested in the elderly, in neonates and or among immunocompromised individuals as meningoencephalitis and/or septicemia; inapparent infection at all ages with consequence only during pregnancy; perinatal infections occur transplacentally and can result in abortion, stillbirth; meningitis, endocarditis, septicemia, and disseminated granulomatous lesions in adults

EPIDEMIOLOGY: Uncommonly diagnosed infection; typically sporadic; few recent outbreaks associated with food; nosocomial acquisition; 40% of clinical cases occur in infants; in adults infection occurs mainly after age 40; European studies have disclosed large numbers of human carriers; case fatality rate in newborns is 50%

HOST RANGE:Mammals, birds, fish, crustaceans and insects

INFECTIOUS DOSE: Not known

MODE OF TRANSMISSION: In neonates, transmission from mother to fetus in utero or during passage through infected birth canal; direct contact with infectious material or soil contaminated with infected animal feces can result in papular lesions on hands and arms; ingestion of contaminated food (vegetables and dairy products have been reported); venereal contact and inhalation of the organism is possible; nursery outbreaks via hands of medical staff

INCUBATION PERIOD: Variable, outbreak cases have occured 3-70 days following a single exposure to an implicated product, median incubation is estimated at 3 weeks

COMMUNICABILITY: Mothers of infected newborn infants may shed the agent for 7-10 days after delivery; infected individuals can shed organism in the stool for several months

SECTION III - DISSEMINATION

RESERVOIR: Infected domestic and wild mammals, fowl and humans; infection of foxes produces an encephalitis simulating rabies; asymptomatic fecal carriage in man (5%) and animals; frequently found in free-living water and mud; seasonal use of silage as fodder is frequently followed by an increased incidence of listeriosis in animals

ZOONOSIS: Yes, all domestic and wild animals are susceptible; proper precautions by farmers and veterinarians in handling aborted fetuses are recommended

VECTORS: None

SECTION IV - VIABILITY

DRUG SUSCEPTIBILITY: Sensitive to penicillin, ampicillin, aminoglycosides, tetracyclines (resistance has been observed), chloramphenicol

SUSCEPTIBILITY TO DISINFECTANTS: Moderately susceptible to disinfectants - 1% sodium hypochlorite, 70% ethanol, glutaraldehyde

PHYSICAL INACTIVATION: Sensitive to moist heat (121° C for at least 15 min) and dry heat (160-170° C for at least 1 hour); able to grow at low temperatures (-0.4 to -0.1° C); sensitive to short wave UV and gamma irradiation

SURVIVAL OUTSIDE HOST: Survives well in soil, water, food, feces

SECTION V - MEDICAL

SURVEILLANCE: Found in feces, CSF, blood; routine smear from all newborn infants examined for L. monocytogenes

FIRST AID/TREATMENT: Antibiotic therapy, penicillin or ampicillin alone or together with aminoglycosides; resistant to cephalosporins including third generation cephalosporins

IMMUNIZATION: None

PROPHYLAXIS: None

SECTION VI - LABORATORY HAZARDS

LABORATORY-ACQUIRED INFECTIONS: Not a common laboratory-associated infection; 2 reported infections

SOURCES/SPECIMENS: Cerebrospinal fluid, blood, placental or fetal tissue, genital tract secretions, amniotic fluid

PRIMARY HAZARDS: Experimentally infected animals are a risk factor to laboratory workers; ingestion is the common mode of exposure, however may cause eye and skin infection following direct exposure; parenteral inoculation, ingestion, exposure to highly concentrated aerosols

SPECIAL HAZARDS: None

SECTION VII - RECOMMENDED PRECAUTIONS

CONTAINMENT REQUIREMENTS: Biosafety level 2 practices, containment equipment and facilities for all activities involving clinical materials or cultures; biosafety cabinets should be used for activities likely to generate aerosols

PROTECTIVE CLOTHING: Laboratory coat; gloves and eye protection when direct contact with infectious materials is unavoidable

OTHER PRECAUTIONS: Pregnant women should avoid contact with infected materials

SECTION VIII - HANDLING INFORMATION

SPILLS: Allow aerosols to settle; wear protective clothing; gently cover spill with paper towels and apply 1% sodium hypochlorite, starting at perimeter and working towards the centre; allow sufficient contact time (30 min) before clean up

DISPOSAL: Decontaminate before disposal - steam sterilization, chemical disinfection, incineration

STORAGE: In sealed containers that are appropriately labelled

SECTION IX - MISCELLANEOUS INFORMATION

Date prepared: March, 2001

Prepared by: Office of Laboratory Security, PHAC

Although the information, opinions and recommendations contained in this Material Safety Data Sheet are compiled from sources believed to be reliable, we accept no responsibility for the accuracy, sufficiency, or reliability or for any loss or injury resulting from the use of the information. Newly discovered hazards are frequent and this information may not be completely up to date.

Copyright © Health Canada, 2001

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