As of March 8, 2018, 967 laboratory-confirmed listeriosis cases have been reported to NICD from all provinces since January 1, 2017. To date, 749 cases were reported in 2017, and 218 cases in 2018.
Females account for 56% (525/933) cases where gender is reported. Where age was reported (n=930), ages range from birth to 92 years (median 18 years) and 42% (390/930) are neonates aged ≤28 days. Of neonatal cases, 96% (373/390) had early-onset disease (birth to ≤6 days).
Most cases have been reported from Gauteng Province (59%, 572/967) followed by Western Cape (12%, 115/967) and KwaZulu-Natal (7%, 68/967) provinces. Cases have been diagnosed in both public (65%, 630/967) and private (35%, 337/967) healthcare sectors.
Amongst 967 cases, 709 (73%) specimens that were positive for Listeria monocytogenes on blood culture, while 208 (22%) were positive on cerebrospinal fluid. 70/967 (7%) specimens were positive from a variety of other sites (stool, pus, abscess or other fluid). Four public sector patients had positive PCR test for Listeria monocytogenes, but these patients also had a positive culture. Additional data on a limited number of cases is available where completed case investigation forms have been submitted or provincial investigations have been conducted. Race distribution amongst 308 cases is black (261, 85%), colored (21, 7%), white (25, 7%) and Asian (1, <1%). Outcome is known for 669/967 (69%) patients of whom 183 (27%) have died.
Tiger Brands said Enterprise Foods had received a report from the Department of Health on Thursday confirming the presence of Listeria monocytogenes ST6 (LST6) strain in its Polokwane factory. On Sunday‚ the department announced that the source of the current outbreak of listeriosis was Enterprise Foods’ Polokwane facility.