This is believed to be the 58th reported case of Listeria monocytogenes infective endocarditis. Published reports worldwide were reviewed as to treatment, outcome, and prognostic features. There is controversy over whether all patients with this condition should have surgery. Moreover the best antibiotic treatment is not known, which accounts for the heterogeneity of regimens used. Listeria endocarditis has a high mortality rate (37%). This was higher in men (41% v 32%) and in patients with valve prostheses (41% v 31%), though neither observation reached statistical significance. There was no significant difference in mortality between surgical and non-surgical treatment, but untreated listeria endocarditis proved universally fatal. From the data, treatment with ampicillin is recommended, with resort to surgery in cases where the infection cannot be eradicated or where haemodynamic compromise has occurred.