A total of 121 uropathogenic Pseudomonas aeruginosa strains were examined for production of several virulence-related factors. These strains were distributed in five predominant O-serotypes, i.e. O 4, O 12, O 11, O 6 and O 5, which accounted respectively for 23·9, 23·1, 12·3, 8·2 and 5·7% of isolates. Pyochelin and pyoverdin siderophores were produced by most of the isolates, defective variants occurring at very low frequency (2·4% for pyochelin and 7·4% for pyoverdin). Adherence to uroepithelial cells and production of cytotoxins was demonstrated in 52·8 and 67·7% of the strains, respectively, with higher frequencies for epidemiologically related strains belonging to serotypes O 4 and O 12. Titration of total proteases, elastase and phospholipase C revealed a high degree of heterogeneity among isolates. However, examination of individual O-serotypes by exoenzyme production showed that elevated levels of total proteases and elastase were characteristics of serotypes of minor numerical importance, i.e. O 1, O 10, O 11 and O 17, whilst low levels of elastase were produced by strains belonging to the predominant serotypes, namely O 4 and O 12. Moreover, epidemiologically related strains belonging to serotypes O 4 and O 12 appeared more homogeneous than the whole serogroup, when compared with other groups on the basis of exoenzyme levels.