Consecutive isolates of quinolone-resistant campylobacter isolated over a 5 year period (1990-1995) from the faeces of patients with enteritis in Plymouth, UK, were examined for the epidemiology of mutations in gyrA (n = 127). In addition, clinical isolates and poultry isolates from Germany, The Netherlands and other regions of the UK collected before 1995 were examined for mutations in the quinolone resistance-determining region of gyrA by single-stranded conformational polymorphism analysis and direct sequencing of a 270 bp fragment of PCR-generated DNA. The majority of isolates (173/208) carried a mutation at codon 86 in gyrA resulting in substitution of Ile for Thr; all of these were resistant to ciprofloxacin (MIC greater than or equal to 2 mg/L). One isolate of Campylobacter jejuni had a mutation at Asp-90, and another had a double mutation at Thr-86 and Pro-104. Only two resistant isolates showed no mutation in gyrA. A novel gyrA sequence was amplified from two Campylobacter lari and one C. jejuni, which exhibited a valine at codon 86. Only 8/192 isolates had changes in gyrB; all were shown to relate to silent mutations in gyrB and presumably reflect natural polymorphisms in the gene.