Clinical and molecular epidemiology of human listeriosis in Taiwan

Yu Tsung Huang, Yao Wen Kuo, Meng Rui Lee, Yu Huan Tsai, Lee Jene Teng, Mao Song Tsai, Chun Hsing Liao, Po Ren Hsueh*

*Corresponding author for this work

Research output: Contribution to journalArticlepeer-review

12 Scopus citations


Objective: To determine serogroups, multilocus sequence typing (MLST) of Listeria monocytogenes isolates and analyze clinical characteristics of these clones focusing on non-perinatal cases. Methods: From 2000 to 2015, we analyzed 123 human listeriosis cases at a medical center in northern Taiwan using PCR serogrouping, MLST, and clinical presentations. Results: The annual incidence of listeriosis increased since 2005 with a peak in 2008 (0.2 per 1000 admission) and decreased thereafter. Of the 115 non-perinatal listeriosis cases, we found a male predominance (60%) with an average age of 63.9 years old (standard deviation: 15.3 years), and almost all patients had underlying conditions including malignancies (61.7%), steroid usage (39.1%), diabetes mellitus (31.3%), renal insufficiency (27.8%), and liver cirrhosis (17.4%). Clinical presentations included bacteremia (74.8%), neurolisteriosis (20.0%), and spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (5.2%). The most frequently identified serogroup-sequence types (ST) were IIB-ST87 (30.9%), followed by IIA-ST378 (16.3%) and IIA-ST155 (14.6%). The 30-day all-cause mortality of non-perinatal listeriosis was 25.2% and was associated with age (Hazard ratio: 1.04, 95% C.I. = 1.01–1.07, p = 0.021), steroid usage (Hazard ratio: 2.54, 95% C.I. = 1.06–6.11, p = 0.038) and respiratory distress at presentation (Hazard ratio: 2.59, 95% C.I. = 1.05–6.39, p = 0.038); while no association was found with serogroups (IIA, IIB, and IVB) or three major ST types by multivariable analysis. All 8 mothers of perinatal listeriosis patients survived and three neonates died (mortality, 37.5%), and IIB-ST87 was the major type (62.5%). Conclusion: Predominant strains in Taiwan could cause significant morbidity and mortality. Further disease monitoring and source surveillance are warranted despite a declining trend of human listeriosis in Taiwan.

Original languageEnglish
Pages (from-to)718-724
Number of pages7
JournalInternational Journal of Infectious Diseases
StatePublished - Mar 2021


  • 30-day all-cause mortality
  • Human listeriosis
  • Multilocus sequence typing
  • Sequence type
  • Serogroup


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