Latest update 27 February 2018 on the outbreak in SA.

South Africa is experiencing a serious outbreak of listeriosis, a severe disease caused by the bacterium Listeria monocytogenes.  This is a foodborne pathogen, meaning that it is transmitted via contaminated food when eaten.  Click here for Frequently Asked Questions. Click here for the full communique by Anelich Consulting.

The latest update from the NICD is that there are now 945 confirmed cases and 176 deaths (550 cases and 36 deaths on 5 December 2017). Neonates remain the most affected.  Dr Anelich's scientific opinion expressed on 05 January 2018 is that this is "the worst documented listeriosis outbreak in global history". The majority of clinical isolates belong to the same sequence type i.e. ST6 - this means that these isolates originate most likely from a single source, or multiple products originating from the same processing facility. The outbreak is across all nine provinces.

Over 1500 samples of food have been tested from patient's refrigerators, food retail outlets and food processing plants.  Over 500 isolates of Listeria monocytogenes have undergone whole genome sequencing.  However, the source has not yet been found