Abstract Waddlia chondrophila is an obligate intracellular bacterium of the Chlamydiales order. W. chondrophila has been isolated twice from aborted bovine foetuses and a serological study supported the abortigenic role of W. chondrophila in bovine species. Recently, we observed a strong association between the presence of anti- Waddlia antibodies and human miscarriage. To further investigate the pathogenic potential of W. chondrophila in humans, we studied the entry and the multiplication of this Chlamydia-like organism in human macrophages. Confocal and electron microscopy confirmed that W. chondrophila is able to enter human monocyte-derived macrophages. Moreover, W. chondrophila multiplied readily within macrophages. The proportion of infected macrophages increased from 13% at day 0 to 96% at day 4, and the mean number of bacteria per macrophage increased by 3 logs in 24 h. Intracellular growth of W. chondrophila was associated with a significant cytopathic effect. Thus, W. chondrophila may enter and grow rapidly within human macrophages, inducing lysis of infected cells. Since macrophages are one of the major components of the innate immune response, these findings indirectly suggest the possible human pathogenicity of W. chondrophila.