diagnosis and treatment of listeriosis

Last edited 02/2020

Seek expert advice.


  • mother - blood cultures and clinical picture; serology, vaginal swabs, stool culture - no value
  • neonate - blood cultures, surface swabs, gastric aspirate
  • products of conception - placenta - tissue / swabs


  • suspected maternal case - amoxicillin or erythromycin
  • proven case - IV ampicillin OR penicillin OR erythromycin AND gentamicin


  • Listeria spp. are resistant to cephalosporins.
  • gentamicin should be avoided in pregnancy - if listeriosis in pregnancy then amoxicillin/ampicillin therapy only
  • erythromycin is used instead of amoxicillin/ampicillin if the patient is allergic to penicillin