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Pakistan Journal of Biological Sciences

Year: 2013  |  Volume: 16  |  Issue: 7  |  Page No.: 301 - 308

Listeria monocytogenes Infection in Poultry and its Public Health Importance with Special Reference to Food Borne Zoonoses

Kuldeep Dhama, Amit Kumar Verma, S. Rajagunalan, Amit Kumar, Ruchi Tiwari, Sandip Chakraborty and Rajesh Kumar

Abstract

Listeriosis is a disease that causes septicemia or encephalitis in humans, animals and birds. Although, the disease is rare and sporadic in poultry but if occurs then causes septicemia or sometimes localized encephalitis. Occasionally, the disease is seen in young chicks and the causative agent, like in humans and animals, is Listeria monocytogenes. The organism is capable to infect almost all animals and poultry; however, outbreaks of listeriosis are infrequent in birds. It is widely distributed among avian species and chickens, turkeys, waterfowl (geese, ducks), game birds, pigeons, parrots, wood grouse, snowy owl, eagle, canaries, which appear to be the most commonly affected. Chickens are thought to be the carriers of Listeria and also the prime reservoirs for the infection and thus contaminate the litter and environment of the poultry production units. Listeriosis is often noticed along with other poultry diseases such as coccidiosis, infectious coryza, salmonellosis, campylobacteriosis and parasitic infections, signifying the opportunistic nature of the organism. Intestinal colonization of poultry and the presence of L. monocytogenes in feces represent a potential source of the organism for listeriosis in ruminants. Man gets infection from raw broiler meat due to Listeria contamination and unhygienic conditions of the processing area, rather than acquiring direct infection from birds. With the changing food habits of the people, the health consciousness is also increasing and since listeriosis has now been recognized as an emerging food borne zoonoses. Therefore, this review has been compiled to make aware the poultry producers and the consumers of poultry meat/products regarding the importance of the disease and its public health significance.

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