A total of 38 strains of atypical Aeromonas salmonicida, three oxidase-negative but otherwise typical Aer. salmonicida, three typical Aer. salmonicida, and two reference strains, isolated from several countries and fish species were examined with respect to rRNA gene restriction patterns (ribotypes) and plasmid profiles. Most epidemiologically unrelated strains had different ribotypes, whereas isolates from the same outbreak were identical. All strains, except one, carried one or more large plasmids (>55 kbp) and all strains, except two, additionally carried one or more smaller plasmids. Many strains isolated from the same outbreak showed different plasmid profiles although some plasmids were identical. The results suggest the existence of several atypical Aer, salmonicida. It also seems that ribotypes are stable properties for these bacteria while the plasmids are more labile.