Listeria monocytogenes is a ubiquitous environmental bacterium that causes disease in a wide range of species. Infection with this pathogen is most frequently diagnosed in ruminant livestock, but is also known to infect people and occasionally wildlife. Postmortem examinations of Western European hedgehogs (Erinaceus europaeus) in Great Britain (2011–2017) identified five (5/266, 2%, 95% confidence interval: 0.8–4.3%) animals with L. monocytogenes infection. The L. monocytogenes isolates comprised three serogroup 1/2a and two serogroup 4 from three multilocus sequence types (2, 37, and 121), all of which were different by single-nucleotide polymorphism analysis, indicating they were distinct and epidemiologically unrelated. These findings are consistent with hedgehogs contracting sporadic infection from the environment, perhaps through eating soil-dwelling invertebrates. Examination of data from scanning surveillance programs focused on other British wildlife species indicates that the hedgehog is one of the wildlife species from which L. monocytogenes has been most frequently identified to date in Great Britain. However, further studies of multiple taxa with comparable sampling efforts are required to assess the relative frequency of L. monocytogenes infection in different wildlife species. The bacterium was isolated from extraintestinal sites in multiple hedgehogs, which may indicate septicemia. However, histological examination was limited and could not discriminate subclinical infection from disease (i.e., listeriosis). Although L. monocytogenes is a zoonotic pathogen, disease in people is typically contracted from the ingestion of contaminated foods. The risk to immunocompetent people of contracting listeriosis from hedgehogs is considered very low to negligible.
You have requested a machine translation of selected content from our databases. This functionality is provided solely for your convenience and is in no way intended to replace human translation. Neither BioOne nor the owners and publishers of the content make, and they explicitly disclaim, any express or implied representations or warranties of any kind, including, without limitation, representations and warranties as to the functionality of the translation feature or the accuracy or completeness of the translations.
Translations are not retained in our system. Your use of this feature and the translations is subject to all use restrictions contained in the Terms and Conditions of Use of the BioOne website.