A simple cytotoxicity assay for Listeria species was developed by assaying alkaline phosphatase (AP) release from an infected hybrid B lymphocyte (Ped-2E9) line. Eight of eight L. monocytogenes and six of 11 L. ivanovii strains induced significantly high AP release from Ped-2E9 cells compared to five other L. ivanovii strains and other Listeria spp. In contrast, all L. monocytogenes and L. ivanovii test strains showed high release of lactate dehydrogenase (LDH) activity from Ped-2E9 cells. The molecular mass of AP was estimated to be about 128-165 kDa, suggesting severe membrane damage in Ped-2E9 cells due to Listeria infection. The data presented here indicate that AP assay could be used over LDH assay to detect Listeria-induced cell cytotoxicity.