Listeriosis in Goats
By Karen Kopf
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Listeriosis, also called Circling Disease and Silage sickness, is a life-threatening disease caused by bacteria Listeria monocytogenes and Listeria
ivanovii. Listeria is zoonotic and can be transferred to humans. It thrives in
aerobic conditions and can withstand temperatures from 34-113 degrees F.
It persists almost anywhere, including soil, manure piles, gastrointestinal
tracts, the top layer of silage, and moldy hay or feed. It is also commonly
found in the feces of infected birds, animals, fish, and insects as well as
Outbreaks in livestock are most prevalent in spring and fall. People and animals in good health are usually not affected by listeria, but in humans the highest risk is for pregnant women and the immunocompromised. It can be carried by a host with no symptoms and can be shed in milk and feces.