NICD Situation Report on Listeriosis Outbreak, South Africa (25 Jan)

Listeriosis Update: 25 January 2018.
Issued by: Centre for Enteric Diseases and Division of Public Health Surveillance and Response


  • The outbreak continues, with 53 additional cases recorded since the last update. However, 13 of these cases occurred during 2017 and have been retrospectively reported.
  • Outcome data is now available for 29% (238/820) of cases, of which 34% (82/238) died.
  • At present, the source of the outbreak is not known.
  • Municipal Environmental Health Practitioners in all provinces have embarked on systematic inspection and sampling of meat & poultry production, processing, and packaging facilities.
  • Cases of listeriosis will continue to be investigated, with trace back and further investigation of any positive food/environmental samples.


As of 23 January 2018, a total of 820 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases have been reported to NICD since 01 January 2017. Most cases have been reported from Gauteng Province (59%, 486/820) followed by Western Cape (13%, 105/820) and KwaZulu-Natal (7%, 59/820) provinces.

Cases have been diagnosed in both public (66%, 542/820) and private (34%, 278/820) healthcare sectors. Diagnosis was based most commonly on the isolation of Listeria monocytogenes in blood culture (71%, 579/820), followed by CSF (23%, 188/820).

Where age was reported (n=784), ages range from birth to 93 years (median 18 years) and 42% (329/784) are neonates aged ≤28 days (Figure 2). Of neonatal cases, 96% (317/329) had early-onset disease (birth to ≤6 days). Females account for 55% (431/783) of cases where gender is reported.


Final outcome data is available for 29% (238/820) of cases, of which 34% (82/238) died.



Download NICD Situation update on listeriosis outbreak, South Africa_25 January 2018.pdf