Listeria is a bacteria that can cause a rare infection called listeriosis, which is spread through eating food contaminated by the bacteria. While it can develop in a variety of foods, listeriosis is most commonly connected to dairy products and unpasteurized milk. Soft cheeses are known carriers, as are pre-packaged, ready-to-eat foods like deli meats and sandwiches. Most individuals affected by listeriosis will not experience severe symptoms. However, aches and pains, chills, nausea or vomiting, diarrhea, and fever have been reported. Although a listeria infection typically goes away on its own, it can cause more severe problems in individuals with a weak immune system. The following are easy ways to prevent or treat listeria, for those who have become infected.
Antibiotics are used to treat bacterial infections, and though listeria infections typically resolve themselves, sometimes medication may be necessary to aid the process. This is particularly true for pregnant women, babies, the elderly, and those with a high fever. If your doctor has diagnosed you, they may prescribe medication to kill the bacteria. Generally speaking, ampicillin is the preferred antibiotic. It can be taken alone or in combination with gentamicin. However, patients allergic to penicillin will require alternative treatments called 'second-line agents.' These include trimethoprim, erythromycin, and vancomycin, to name a few.