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February 1980

Hemochromatosis and Listeria Infection

Arch Intern Med. 1980;140(2):284. doi:10.1001/archinte.1980.00330140142049

To the Editor.  — Apart from perinatal infection of mother and fetus, Listeria monocytogenes preferentially infects patients with impaired cellmediated immunity. Patients with malignant lymphoma and Hodgkin's disease1 and kidney transplant recipients2.3 succumb most often to this infection. Meningoencephalitis,4 endocarditis, septicemia, and peritonitis1 are the most common clinical forms of infection. Ampicillin sodium remains the treatment of choice; it probably acts synergistically with tobramycin sulfate.5Hemochromatosis was not known to pose special susceptibility to listerial infections. However, a patient was recently described who had hemochromatosis and meningitis with L monocytogenes.6 We have attended another patient with hemochromatosis and listerial sepsis.Our patient was a 61-year-old man with hemochromatosis and micronodular cirrhosis of the liver. He was admitted with the suspicion of malignant hepatoma. Previously he had suffered from chronic infections of his hip prosthesis. After paracentesis, he suffered an acute myocardial infarction and became