The chromosomal DNA of spirochetes isolated from human, swine, dog, mouse, rat, and chicken intestine or feces was subjected to restriction enzyme analysis and hybridization with three different DNA probes, derived from a flagellin gene, a hemolysin gene, and the 16S rDNA sequence of the pathogenic swine intestinal spirochete Serpulina hyodysenteriae. This genetic analysis showed that intestinal spirochetes represent a heterogenous but related population of bacteria. In general, unique genotypes were distinguished among isolates from the same host species; they were not present among isolates from other host species. This suggests the host specificity of some strains. An exception to this are isolates from humans and dogs suffering from gastrointestinal disorders; these isolates showed highly similar or even identical genotypes. None of them resembled any of the genotypes of isolates found in other host species without apparent disease.