Listeria (L.) monocytogenes is widely distributed in the environment, but also has the ability to cause serious invasive disease in ruminants and humans. This review provides an overview of listeriosis in ruminants and discusses our insufficient understanding of reservoirs and possible cycling ofL. monocytogenes between animal and human hosts, food and the environment. It indicates gaps in our knowledge of the role of genetic subtypes in L. monocytogenes ecology and virulence as well as risk factors, in vivo diagnostics and pathogenesis of listeriosis in ruminants. Filling these gaps will contribute to improving the control of L. monocytogenes and enhancing disease prevention. As the prevalence of listeriosis in ruminants in Switzerland is likely to be underestimated, propositions concerning improvement options for surveillance of listeriosis in ruminants are provided.