The journal Emerging Infectious Diseases has published a new study investigating why Listeria cases in Germany are much higher than all of its neighboring countries, with the exception of Denmark. The study looked at invasive listeriosis cases in Germany during 2010–2019, taking into account time trends, case-fatality rates, demographic distribution, clinical and diagnostic characteristics, and geographic trends.
In sum, 5,576 listeriosis cases were reported during that time period, with a steady increase in cases during 2011–2017, but incidence in 2019 was lower than in previous years.
The study concluded that the aging of Germany's population as a result of demographic shifts, which is likely to continue in upcoming years, may partially explain the increase in listeriosis cases. Also, factors related to the foodborne nature of Listeria and an increase in exposure to Listeria must be presumed, as it's possible that people have been eating more ready-to-eat (RTE) food or RTE food is more likely to become contaminated.
The study also found that in Europe, the incidence of listeriosis is higher in Scandinavian and Baltic countries and lower in the UK and Ireland.