Selected Publications

Listeriosis Outbreaks Associated with Soft Cheeses, United States, 1998–2014

Abstract: Since 2006, the number of reported U.S. listeriosis outbreaks associated with cheese made under unsanitary conditions has increased. Two-thirds were linked to Latin-style soft cheese, often affecting pregnant Hispanic women and their newborns. Adherence to pasteurization protocols and sanitation measures to avoid contamination after pasteurization can reduce future outbreaks.

Podcast: CDC surveillance coordinator Kelly Jackson discusses outbreaks of Listeria infection linked to soft cheeses in the United States.

Surveillance and Trends
  • Jackson BR, Tarr C, Strain E, Jackson KA, Conrad A, Carleton H, et al. Implementation of nationwide whole-genome sequencing to enhance listeriosis outbreak detection and investigation. Clin Infec Dis. 2016 April 18. PubMedExternal
  • Bergholz TM, den Bakker HC, Katz LS, Silk BJ, Jackson KA, Kucerova Z, et al. Determination of evolutionary relationships of outbreak-associated Listeria monocytogenes strains of serotypes 1/2a and 1/2b by whole-genome sequencing. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2015 Nov 20;82(3):928-38. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • de Noordhout CM, Devleesschauwer B, Angulo FJ, Verbeke G, Haagsma J, Kirk M, et al. The global burden of listeriosis: a systematic review and meta-analysis. Lancet Infect Dis. 2014 Nov;14(11):1073–1082. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Silk B, McCoy MH, Iwamoto M, Griffin PM. Foodborne listeriosis acquired in hospitals. Clin Infect Dis. 2014 Aug 15;59(4):532–40. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Crim SM, Iwamoto M, Huang JY, Griffin PM, Gilliss D, Cronquist AB, et al. Incidence and trends of infection with pathogens transmitted commonly through food—Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network, 10 U.S. Sites, 2006–2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Apr;63(15):328–332. PubMedExternal
  • Silk BJ, Mahon BE, Griffin PM, Gould HL, Tauxe RV, Crim SM, et al. Vital Signs: Listeria illnesses, deaths, and outbreaks—United States, 2009–2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2013 Jun:62(22):448–752. PubMedExternal
  • Cartwright EJ, Jackson KA, Johnson SD, Graves LM, Silk BJ, Mahon BE. Listeriosis outbreaks and associated food vehicles, United States, 1998–2008. Emerg Infect Dis. 2013 Jan;19(1):1–9. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Silk BJ, Date KA, Jackson KA, Pouillot R, Holt KG, Graves LM, et al. Invasive listeriosis in the Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet), 2004–2009: further targeted prevention needed for higher-risk groups. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;54:S396–S404. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Pouillot R, Hoelzer K, Jackson KA, Henao O, Silk BJ. Relative risk of listeriosis in Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network (FoodNet) sites according to age, pregnancy, and ethnicity. Clin Infect Dis. 2012 Jun;54:S405–S410. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Jackson KA, Iwamoto M, Swerdlow D. Pregnancy-associated listeriosis. Epidemiol Infect. 2010 Oct;138(10):1503–9. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Iwamoto M, Olson C, Schlundt J, Martin P. In: Heymann DL, editor. Control of Communicable Diseases Manual. Listeriosis. 19th ed. Washington, DC: American Public Health Association.
  • Swaminathan B, Gerner-Smidt P. The epidemiology of human listeriosis. Microbes Infect. 2007 Aug;9(10):1236–43. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Painter J, Slutsker L. Listeriosis in humans. In: Ryser ET, Marth EH, editors. Listeria, listeriosis, and food safety. 3rd ed. Boca Raton, FL: Taylor and Francis Group; 2007 Mar 27. p. 85–110.
  • Voetsch AC, Angulo FJ, Jones FJ, Moore MR, Nadon C, McCarthy P, Shiferaw B, Megginson MB, Hurd S, Anderson BJ, Cronquist A, Vugia DJ, Medus C, Segler S, Graves LM, Hoekstra RM, Griffin PM, for the CDC EIP FoodNet Working Group. Reduction in the incidence of invasive listeriosis in Foodborne Diseases Active Surveillance Network sites, 1996–2003 [ERRATUM 2011 Aug;53(4):404]. Clin Infect Dis. 2007 Feb 15;44(4):513–20. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Slutsker L, Schuchat A. Listeriosis in humans. In: Ryser ET, Marth EH, editors. Listeria, listeriosis, and food safety. 2nd ed. New York: Marcel Dekker; 1999. p. 75–95.

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Soft cheeses

  • Jackson K, Gould L, Hunter JC, Kucerova Z, Jackson B. Listeriosis Outbreaks Associated with Soft Cheeses, United States, 1998–2014. Emerg Infect Dis. 2018;24(6):1116-1118. DOIExternal
  • Heiman KE, Garalde VB, Gronostaj M, Jackson KA, Beam S, Joseph L, et al. Multistate outbreak of listeriosis caused by imported cheese and evidence of cross-contamination of other cheeses, USA, 2012. Epidemiol Infect. 2015 Jun;30:1–11. [Epub ahead of print] PubMedExternal
  • Choi MJ, Jackson KA, Medus C, Beal J, Rigdon CE, Cloyd TC, et al. Notes from the field: multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to soft-ripened cheese—United States, 2013. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2014 Apr;63(13):294–295. PubMedExternal
  • Jackson KA, Biggerstaff M, Tobin-D’Angelo M, Sweat D, Klos R, Nosari J, et al. Multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes associated with Mexican-style cheese made from pasteurized milk among pregnant, Hispanic women. J Food Prot. 2011 Jun;74(6):949–53. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • MacDonald PD, Whitwam RE, Boggs JD, MacCormack JN, Anderson KL, Reardon JW, et al. Outbreak of listeriosis among Mexican immigrants as a result of consumption of illicitly produced Mexican-style cheese. Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Mar;40(5):677-82. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of listeriosis—northeastern United States. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2002 Oct; 51(42):950-1. PubMedExternal
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of listeriosis associated with homemade Mexican-style cheese—North Carolina, October 2000–January 2001. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2001 Jul;50(26):560–2. PubMedExternal


  • Jackson KA, Stroika S, Katz LS, Beal J, Brandt E, Nadon C, et al. Use of whole genome sequencing and patient interviews to link a case of sporadic listeriosis to consumption of prepackaged lettuce. J Food Prot. 2016 May;79(5):806-9. PubMedExternal
  • Jackson BR, Salter M, Tarr C, Conrad A, Harvey E, Steinbock L, et al. Notes from the field: listeriosis associated with stone fruit—United States, 2014. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2015 Mar;64(10)282–283. PubMedExternal
  • McCollum JT, Cronquist AB, Silk BJ, Jackson KA, O’Connor KA, Cosgrove S, et al. Multistate outbreak of listeriosis associated with cantaloupe. N Engl J Med. 2013 Sep 5;369(10):944–53. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Gaul LK, Farag NH, Shim T, Kingsley MA, Silk BJ, Hyytia-Trees E. Hospital-acquired listeriosis outbreak caused by contaminated diced celery—Texas, 2010. Clin Infect Dis. 2013 Jan;56(1):20–6. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Laksanalamai P, Joseph LA, Silk BJ, Burall LS, L Tarr C, Gerner-Smidt P, Datta AR. Genomic characterization of Listeria monocytogenes strains involved in a multistate listeriosis outbreak associated with cantaloupe in US. PLoS One. 2012;7(7):e42448. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Multistate outbreak of listeriosis associated with Jensen Farms cantaloupe—United States, August–September 2011. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Oct;60(39):1357–58. PubMedExternal


  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of invasive listeriosis associated with consumption of hog head cheese—Louisiana, 2010. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2011 Apr;60(13):401–405. PubMedExternal
  • Marcus R, Hurd S, Mank L, Mshar P, Phan W, Jackson K, et al. Chicken salad as the source of a case of Listeria monocytogenes infection in Connecticut. J Food Prot. 2009 Dec;72(12):2602-6. PubMedExternal
  • Mead PS, Dunne EF, Graves LM, Wiedmann M, Patrick M, Hunter S, Salehi E, Mostashari F, Craig A, Mshar P, Bannerman T, Sauders BD, Hayes P, DeWitt W, Sparling P, Griffin P, Morse D, Slutsker L, Swaminathan B, for the Listeria Outbreak Working Group. Nationwide outbreak of listeriosis due to contaminated meat. Epidemiol Infect. 2006 Aug;134(4):744–51. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Gottlieb SL, Newbern EC, Griffin PM, Graves LM, Hoekstra RM, Baker NL, et al. Multistate outbreak of listeriosis linked to turkey deli meat and subsequent changes in US regulatory policy. Clin Infect Dis. 2006 Jan 1;42(1):29–36. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Graves LM, Hunter SB, Ong AR, Schoonmaker-Bopp D, Hise K, Kornstein L, et al. Microbiological aspects of the investigation that traced the 1998 outbreak of listeriosis in the United States to contaminated hot dogs and establishment of molecular subtyping-based surveillance for Listeria monocytogenes in the PulseNet network. J Clin Microbiol. 2005 May;43(5):2350-5. PubMedExternal
  • Olsen SJ, Patrick M, Hunter SB, Reddy V, Kornstein L, MacKenzie WR, et al. Multistate outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infection linked to delicatessen turkey meat. Clin Infect Dis. 2005 Apr 1;40(7):962–7. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Evans MR, Swaminathan B, Graves LM, Altermann E, Klaenhammer TR, Fink RC, et al. Genetic markers unique to Listeria monocytogenes serotype 4b differentiate epidemic cline II (hot dog outbreak strains) from other lineages. Appl Environ Microbiol. 2004 Apr;70(4)2383-90. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Public Health Dispatch: outbreak of listeriosis—northeastern United States, 2002. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2002 Oct;51(42):950–951. Available from


  • Gould LH, Mungai E, Brehravesh CB. Foodborne Pathog Dis. Outbreaks attributed to cheese: differences between outbreaks caused by unpasteurized and pasteurized dairy products, United States, 1998-2011. 2014 Jul;11(7):545-51. PubMedExternal
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. Outbreak of Listeria monocytogenes infections associated with pasteurized milk from a local dairy—Massachusetts, 2007. MMWR Morb Mortal Wkly Rep. 2008 Oct;57(40):1097–1100. PubMedExternal

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Other Topics
  • Matanock A, Katz LS, Jackson KA, Kuverova Z, Conrad AR, Glover WA, et al. J Clin Microbiol. Two Listeria monocytogenes pseudo-outbreaks caused by contaminated laboratory culture media. 2016 Mar;54(3):768-70. PubMedExternal
  • Imanishi M, Routh JA, Klaber M, Gu W, Vanselow MS, Jackson KA, et al. Estimating the attack rate of pregnancy-associated listeriosis during a large outbreak. Infect Dis Obstet Gynecol. 2015. PubMedExternal
  • Godshall C, Suh G, Lorber B. Cutaneous listeriosis. J Clin Microbiol. 2013 Nov;51(11):3591–1596. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Hoelzer K, Chen Y, Dennis S, Evans P, Pouillot R, Silk BJ, et al. New data, strategies, and insights for Listeria monocytogenes dose-response models: summary of an interagency workshop, 2011. Risk Anal. 2013 Sep;33(9):1568–1581. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Menon M, Graves L, McCombs K, Hise K, Silk BJ, Kuehnert M, et al. Listeria monocytogenes in donated platelets—a potential transfusion transmitted pathogen intercepted through screening. Transfusion. 2013 Sep;53(9):1974–1978. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Ibraheem M, Vance S, Jackson KA, Ettestad P, Smelser C, Silk B. Vision loss following intraocular listeriosis associated with contaminated cantaloupe. Case Rep Ophthalmol. 2013 Jun 1;4(2):7–11. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Varma JK, Samuel MC, Marcus R, Hoekstra RM, Medus C, Segler S, et al. Listeria monocytogenes infection from foods prepared in a commercial establishment: a case-control study of potential sources of sporadic illness in the United States. Clin Infect Dis. 2007;44:521–8. DOIExternal PubMedExternal
  • Smith B, Kemp M, Ethelberg S, Schiellerup P, Bruun BG, Gerner-Smidt P, et al. Listera monocytogenes: Maternal-foetal infections in Denmark 1994-2005. Scand J Infect Dis. 2009;41(1):21-5. PubMedExternal
  • Swaminathan B, Gerner-Smidt P. The epidemiology of human listeriosis. Microbes and Infection. 2007 Aug;9(10):1236-43. PubMedExternal
  • Graves LM, Swaminathan B. Subtyping Listeria monocytogenes. In: Ryser ET, Marth EH, editors. Listeria, Listeriosis, and Food Safety. Boca Raton, FL:CRC Press. 2007;283-304.
  • Doumith M, Jacquet C, Gerner-Smidt P, Graves LM, Loncarevic S, Mathisen T, et al. Multicenter validation of a multiplex PCR assay for differentiating the major Listeria monocytogenes serovars 1/2a, 1/2b, 1/2c, and 4b: toward an international standard. J Food Prot. 2005 Dec;68(12):2648-50. PubMedExternal
  • Bille J, Rocourt J, Swaminathan B. Listeria and Erysipelothrix. In: Murray P, editor. Manual of clinical microbiology. 8th ed. Washington, DC: ASM Press. 2003; 461-71.
  • Graves L, Swaminathan B. PulseNet standardized protocol for subtyping Listeria monocytogenes by macrorestriction and pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Int J Food Microbiol. 2001 Apr;65(1-2):55-62. PubMedExternal
  • Graves L, Swaminathan B, Hunter S. Subtyping Listeria monocytogenes. In:  Ryser E, Marth E, editors. Listeria, listeriosis, and food safety. New York: Marchel Dekker, Inc. 2000;279-97.
  • Staudinger R, Levine D, Swaminathan B, Zagzag D. Neurolisteriosis presenting as recurrent transient ischemic attacks. Ann Neurol. 2000 Oct;48(4):661-5. PubMedExternal
  • Slutsker L, Evans MC, Schuchat, A. Listeriosis. In: Scheld WM, Craig WA, Hughes JM, editors. Emerging Infections 4. Washington, DC: ASM Press. 2000;4:83-106.

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