Listeriosis is a bacterial disease of cattle and other animals, caused by Listeria monocytogenes. It can cause encephalitis, meningoencephalitis, septicaemia, abortion and stillbirths in cattle. Infections are usually associated with feeding silage of low acidity.

Septicaemic disease due to Listeria ivanovii has been reported in small ruminants and cattle. Human disease due to Listeria ivanovii is extremely rare.

Diagnosis and tests available


Diagnosis is supported by history, clinical signs, bacterial isolation and histopathology of affected tissues.

Tests available


Sample(s) required

Days of the week test is conducted

Turnaround time1

Bacterial culture - aerobic

Fresh tissue, fluid or aborted foetus

Monday – Saturday2

7 days

Histopathology examination

Fixed tissue

Monday – Friday

Up to 2 weeks for brain samples. Up to 5 days for all other sample types.

Listeria PCR3

PCR performed from culture

Monday – Friday

Up to 5 days

1 Turnaround times are provided as a guide only. For specific information about your submission please contact Customer Service.
2 Prior approval of delivery and testing on Saturday is required. Please contact Customer Service on 1800 675 623 to seek approval.
3 This test is not NATA accredited.

Specimen requirements

Aborted foetus

  • Whole foetus and membranes
    • Submit chilled

Fixed tissue

  • Sections of brain, liver, spleen and kidney
    • Submit fixed in neutral buffered formalin at a 10:1 ratio of formalin: tissue


  • Cerebrospinal fluid collected aseptically from neurologically affected animals
    • Submit chilled

Fresh tissue

  • Fresh brain, liver, spleen, and kidney
    • Collect aseptically
    • Submit chilled