The electrophoretic variations of carboxylesterase B and of esterases A, C and I, the presence of mannose resistant haemagglutinin, α–haemolysin, cytotoxic necrotizing factor type 1 (CNF1) and certain O antigens were compared in 150 strains of Escherichia coli responsible for extra-intestinal infections. Electrophoretic mobilities of outer membrane proteins (OMP) were also studied for strains belonging to O4, O6, O7, O8 and O75 serogroups. Fast migrating allozymes of carboxylesterase B (pattern B1) were correlated with slow migrating allozymes of esterase C, serogroups O7 and O8, lack of virulence factor, and particular OMP patterns, whereas slow migrating allozymes of carboxylesterase B (pattern B2) were correlated with fast migrating allozymes of esterase C, serogroups O2, O4, O6, O18 and O75, virulence factor production, and distinct OMP patterns. Allozymes of esterases A and I were not clearly correlated with the distribution of virulence factors. The pattern B2 was more strongly associated with CNF1 than with α–haemolysin and mannose resistant haemagglutinin. These results substantiate the view that the electrophoretic pattern B2 of carboxylesterase B identified most of the highly pathogenic strains implicated in extra-intestinal infection of humans.