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Canadian Journal of Infectious Diseases
Volume 7, Issue 1, Pages 59-62
Case Report

Bacterial Peritonitis Caused by Listeria monocytogenes: Case Report and Review of the literature

Joe S Dylewski

Division of Microbiology and Infectious Diseases, St Mary’s Hospital, Montreal, Quebec, Canada

Received 30 November 1994; Accepted 25 March 1995

Copyright © 1996 Hindawi Publishing Corporation. This is an open access article distributed under the Creative Commons Attribution License, which permits unrestricted use, distribution, and reproduction in any medium, provided the original work is properly cited.


Although Listeria monocytogenes has been isolated from the gastrointestinal tract, it is an infrequent cause of bacterial peritonitis. Since 1963 only 23 cases of peritonitis caused by listeria have been reported. This report describes another case in a patient with cirrhosis and chronic renal failure and presents a review of the literature. Most (16) of the previous cases were cirrhotic while six were undergoing chronic ambulatory peritoneal dialysis. Eight patients were on immunosuppressive therapy. Blood cultures were positive in fewer than half (42%) of the cases and Gram stain of peritoneal fluid was positive only twice. The peritoneal fluid protein concentration was relatively high compared with other causes of bacterial peritonitis. Ampicillin was the drug most commonly used for treatment, and the majority of patients survived the acute infection.