The isolation rate for Clostridium difficile in diarrhoeal stools was investigated in patients from general practice and community health centres over a 14-month period. C. difficile or its cytotoxin was detected in specimens from 89 (4·7 %) of 1882 patients studied and accounted for 30·3 % of all enteropathogenic micro-organisms isolated. Overall C. difficile was second only to Giandia lamblia in frequency. Recovery rates in the different groups of patients surveyed varied from 3·6 to 27·5 %. The relationship between stool culture results and stool cytotoxin assay also varied considerably between groups of patients studied. Coincident infections with a variety of enteropathogenic bacteria and intestinal parasites were diagnosed in 14 of the 89 patients. It was concluded that laboratories servicing this type of practice should be aware that C. difficile may be a cause of diarrhoea. An adequate clinical history should facilitate proper processing of the specimen.