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.

Additional Information

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.

Customer Service

Contact Customer Service for enquiries relating to testing and results, quotations and pricing, couriers, sample submission and invoicing.

NSW DPI's laboratories are committed to continual improvement of services. If you would like to provide feedback, please fill in and submit the online feedback form.


Phone1800 675 623

Operating Hours

8:30am-4:30pm Monday-Friday (excluding public holidays)

8:30am-12:00pm Saturday (for deliveries only)

Postal Address

Private Bag 4008, Narellan NSW 2567


For Animal export, Plant health or Veterinary quotations, please complete the online quotation request

For Edible oil & oilseed or Feed quality quotations and pricing enquiries, please contact DPI AgEnviro Labs at Wagga Wagga on (02) 6938 1957

For Plant nutrition, Soil health or Water quality quotations and pricing enquiries, please contact DPI AgEnviro Labs at Wollongbar on (02) 6626 1103

Submission Forms

Veterinary Specimen Advice Form

Please Note: These documents are not fully web accessible, please contact Customer Service ( for more information.

Courier services and specimen delivery

For NSW submissions, please contact the relevant Customer Service team for courier account details and to order consignment notes.

For submitters outside of NSW, Couriers can be contacted directly to make bookings and arrange collection of packages at the submitters own cost.

Commercial couriers may use either road or air transport and specimens should therefore be packed in accordance with International Air Transport Association (IATA) requirements. Most submission sent by veterinarians to the SVDL for testing are defined as “Biological Substance Category B” and must be packed according to the IATA packing instructions 650 (Biological Substance Category B). As requirements for transport can change, customers should consult with their transport agent to obtain current requirements.

Samples may also be hand delivered to the site during normal business hours (8.30am - 4.30pm).

Sample Type


Street Address

Animal (including aquatic animals)

NSW Animal and Plant Health Laboratories (APHL)

EMAI, Woodbridge Road, Menangle NSW 2568