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The kinetics of antibody production against phosphatidylinositol-specific phospholipase C (PI-PLC) and the isolation pattern of Listeria monocytogenes from bacteriological samples were studied following oral infection of buffalo calves with 3×109 cells each of pathogenic L. monocytogenes. Antibodies to PI-PLC appeared by 4–8 days post infection (PI), with a peak between days 7 and 16 PI, when tested by indirect plate-ELISA. Subsequently, antibody titres in all the animals declined and became undetectable on days 26–35 PI onwards until the study concluded on day 211 PI. Dot-ELISA could detect the antibodies to PI-PLC 1–2 days earlier and at higher titres as compared to plate-ELISA. L. monocytogenes could be recovered from faeces, nasal swabs and haemocultures from days 2 to 33, days 2 to 21 and days 11 to 17 PI, respectively. Antibodies to PI-PLC were detected during the course of active infection but their titres declined sharply once animals became culturally negative. Sonicated antigen elicited the highest delayed-type hypersensitivity response, followed by PI-PLC and listeriolysin O.