• Infection with Listeria monocytogenes is demonstrated over a 14½ year period in 24 newborns, three infants 1 to 2 months of age, and two children. Comparison of the 22 cases of Listeria meningitis in newborns with 118 cases of neonatal meningitis due to other bacteria indicates a later onset of symptoms in cases of Listeria meningitis with a more favorable outcome than with most other agents. Treatment with ampicillin sodium appears effective. Monocytic cell increases in peripheral blood or CSF may be helpful in suspecting this diagnosis. The cases of Listeria meningitis in the older children were unusual. In one child it occurred as a concomitant infection with Staphylococcus epidermidis of a ventricular shunt. In the second case in an otherwise healthy child the acquisition of the bacteria from gerbils was suggested, but could not be confirmed.
(Am J Dis Child 131:393-397, 1977)