CDC report: Listeria causes death in 20% of cases

Listeria prokalei 8anato

Older adults, pregnant women, and persons with immunocompromising conditions are at higher risk than others for invasive Listeria monocytogenes infection (listeriosis), a rare and preventable foodborne illness that can cause bacteremia, meningitis, fetal loss, and death.


A study published in the U.S. Centers for Disease Control and Prevention’s Morbidity and Mortality Weekly Report (MMWR) summarizes data on 2009–2011 listeriosis cases and outbreaks reported to U.S. surveillance systems.Nationwide, 1,651 cases of listeriosis occurring during 2009–2011 were reported. The case-fatality rate was 21%. Most cases (58%) occurred among adults ages 65+, and 14% were pregnancy-associated. During this time period, 12 reported outbreaks affected 224 patients in 38 states. Five outbreak investigations implicated soft cheeses made from pasteurized milk that were likely contaminated during cheese-making (four implicated Mexican-style cheese, and one implicated two other types of cheese). Two outbreaks were linked to raw produce.

The report concluded that almost all listeriosis occurs in persons in higher-risk groups. Soft cheeses were prominent vehicles, but other foods also caused recent outbreaks. Prevention targeting higher-risk groups and control of Listeria monocytogenes contamination in foods implicated by outbreak investigations will have the greatest impact on reducing the burden of listeriosis.

Οι πιπεριές μπορούν να προστατεύσουν από τη νόσο Parkinson’s
Peppers may protect against Parkinson’s disease
A study published in the Annals of Neurology shows that eating foods from the Solanaceae family, which contain naturally-occurring nicotine, may be able reduce the risk of Parkinson’s disease. Foods in the Solanaceae family include peppers, tomatoes, and potatoes.

The researchers recruited 490 newly-diagnosed Parkinson’s patients, and 644 unrelated individuals with no neurological disorders for the control group. The researchers examined whether Parkinson’s disease was associated with self-reported typical frequency of consumption of peppers, tomatoes, tomato juice, and potatoes during adulthood, while adjusting for consumption of other vegetables, age, sex, race/ethnicity, tobacco use, and caffeine.

The researchers found that consuming foods in the Solanaceae family did lower the risk for Parkinson’s disease, with peppers displaying the strongest association. However, the consumption of all other vegetables did not have any association with Parkinson’s disease. In fact, Solanaceae vegetable eaters lowered their risk by 19% on average. And eating two to four peppers a week lowered the risk by about 30%. In addition, the potentially protective effect of edible Solanaceae largely occurred in men and women who had never used tobacco or who had smoked cigarettes for less than 10 years.

The researchers concluded that “confirmation and extension of these findings are needed to strengthen causal inferences that could suggest possible dietary or pharmaceutical interventions for Parkinson’s disease prevention.”