Maternal listeriosis in Tripoli, Libya

Original article


Kheiria A. Elfigi 1, Abdulhafid Abudher 2, Amina Alburki 3, Abdelbasut Abu-Zwayda 4

1-Department of Microbiology and Immu¬nology, Faculty of Medicine, Al-Fatah University, Tripoli, Libya. 2-Libyan National Center for Infectious Diseases Prevention and Control, Tripoli, Libya. 3-Department of Obstetrics and Gynae¬cology, Tripoli Medical Center, Tripoli, Libya. 4-Biotechnology Research Center,Tripoli, Libya.

Libyan J Infect Dis. 2010;4(1):46-49


Objectives: Listeriosis has attracted much recent attention as a result of increased incidence in man. No studies have been conducted or valuable data collected in Libya concerning maternal listeriosis; therefore the present study was aimed to determine the prevalence rate of maternal listeriosis and to evaluate the size and extent of this medical problem among Libyan pregnant women.
Materials and Methods: 400 Libyan pregnant women whose mean age was 30 years (range 22 – 38 years) at different gestational ages (19 – 40 weeks) attending the maternity department at Tripoli Medical Center between October 2007 to October 2008. Aseptically, heavy vaginal swabs were collected from the posterior fornix of the vaginal wall of the pregnant women under study for microbiological evaluation. Cold system microbiological studies were then conducted at the Biotechnology Research Center and collected samples were further confirmed by biochemical tests and listeria API system.
Results: Only three cases (0.75%) of the study population tested confirmed positive for maternal listeriosis. The first woman was multiple-gestation and had developed gestational diabetes during the first trimester of her pregnancy. The second woman was also multiple-gestation and had two previous abortions and the third woman had premature contraction and had a history of consuming risky food (i.e. soft cheese) that had been linked to Listeria monocytogenes infection.
Conclusion: The study results confirmed the presence of maternal listeriosis in the study cases of pregnant women, although the prevalence rate of maternal listeriosis was low. Further studies should be conducted to evaluate the problem and to prevent its fatal complications in pregnant women and their fetal outcomes.

Keywords: Maternal Listeriosis, Listeriosis, Listeria monocytogenes