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Spontaneous bacterial peritonitis due to Listeria monocytogenes: importance of enrichment culture
  1. Saroj Jayasinghe1,
  2. Martin Connor2,
  3. Shona Donaldson1,
  4. Hannah Austin1,
  5. Adele Foster2
  1. 1Department of Microbiology, NHS Dumfries and Galloway, Dumfries, UK
  2. 2Department of Care of the Elderly, Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, UK
  1. Correspondence to Dr Shona Donaldson, Department of Care of the Elderly, Dumfries and Galloway Royal Infirmary, Bankend Road, Dumfries DG1 4AP, Scotland, UK; s.donaldson{at}


A case of Listeria monocytogenes induced spontaneous bacterial peritonitis (SBP) is reported in a patient with primary biliary cirrhosis. It is an indolent illness and may not show a neutrophil reaction in peritoneal fluid. Enrichment broth was required to isolate L monocytogenes in the patient. This is not routinely used in the UK and therefore isolates may be missed. L monocytogenes remains sensitive to ampicillin, penicillin and gentamicin, but is resistant to cephalosporin antibiotics. The rising incidence of listeriosis in the population suggests that the incidence of SBP from L monocytogenes is likely to increase.

  • Listeria
  • ascites
  • peritonitis (spontaneous, bacterial)

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  • Competing interests None.

  • Patient consent Obtained.

  • Provenance and peer review Not commissioned; externally peer reviewed.