Listeriosis is a rare systemic bacterial disease that can cause septicemia in piglets and can also cause reproductive problems in sows.

Alternative names: Listeria monocytogenes


It is caused by a bacterium, Listeria monocytogenes commonly found in the intestine of pigs. Listeria has a worldwide dissemination and it is widespread in nature. It is often found in cheese and silage. The exposure to the organism results in an infection, but the disease is rare. It is a disease with major consequences in humans although swine do not seem to contribute to the epidemiology of human outbreaks.



  • Usually none.
  • Abortion.
  • An increase of weak piglets.
  • An increase of stillbirths.

Lactating piglets and early nursery

  • Sudden death.
  • High fever.
  • Septicemia.
  • Nervous symptoms, possible meningitis.
  • The head is tilted.
  • Ear infections.


  • Usually none.


  • Bacterial culture.
  • PCR.


  • Listeria is usually sensitive to penicillin and aminoglycosides.
  • When an outbreak occurs it is necessary to identify the sources of infection and reduce exposure.