Diagnosis and Treatment of Listeria monocytogenes Endophthalmitis: A Systematic Review

Document Type



Population Health (East Africa)


Purpose: Describe patient characteristics, treatment, and vision outcomes of Listeria monocytogenes endophthalmitis, an exceedingly rare form of listeriosis.

Methods: L. monocytogenes endophthalmitis cases in human adults, located through Medline (32) and from disease surveillance centers (11). L. monocytogenes conjunctivitis and keratitis were excluded.

Results: Most cases occurred in 2000-2015 (22/43), and almost all in Europe or North America (40/43). Patients were a median 61 years, 57% male (24/42) and half were immunosuppressed. Median days from entering care to diagnosis was 8 (IQR = 5-17). Only four were exogenous infections. L. monocytogenes was identified in 31/35 of anterior eye fluid samples (89%). Antibiotic regimens varied markedly (mostly ≥3 drugs). At diagnosis, most were blind in the affected eye (85%, 28/33), only a third regained normal vision (12/36). Older patients had poorer outcomes.

Conclusions: Cases increased over time. Diagnostic delays were common and visual impairment often refractory to treatment, especially in older adults. The condition's rarity and variation in treatment makes it difficult to identify optimum therapy.


This work was published before the author joined Aga Khan University.

Publication (Name of Journal)

Ocular Immunology and Inflammation