A method was developed to follow a lactic acid bacterial strain, Enterococcus faecium Cernelle 68, with respect to adhesion, multiplication, colonization, and persistence in the digestive tract of mink. Also the spread of the strain in the cage was examined. When adding 5 x 10(9) c.f.u. of a rifampicin resistant mutant per kg feed, high viable counts were registered throughout the digestive tract, apart from the oesophagus. Counts were increasing in the aboral direction, suggesting some multiplication in the intestine. It was possible to detect the strain in the intestinal tract 4 days after discontinuation of administration. Neither culture nor scanning electron microscopy gave evidence to suggest that E. faecium Cernelle 68 adhered to the mucosa. The spread of the E. faecium strain was observed in the environment. Counts of E. coli, lactobacilli, staphylococci, and clostridia were low, and none of these bacteria were constant findings.