Between 1966 and 1991, melioidosis, a disease caused by Pseudomonas pseudomallei that is mostly confined to tropical regions, occurred in farm animals and a farmer in temperate south-west Western Australia. Using an Escherichia coli probe containing a ribosomal RNA operon, P. pseudomallei DNA from isolates from 8 animals, a soil sample and the human case showed an identical ribotype on Southern blotting. The ribotype was different from the 3 commonest ribotypes seen in tropical Australia. This molecular typing supports the theory of clonal introduction of P. pseudomallei into a non-endemic region, with environmental contamination, local dissemination and persistence over 25 years. As melioidosis is often fatal in humans, such persistence in a temperate region is cause for concern.