Bacteria belonging to the normal colonic microbiota are associated with the etiology of ulcerative colitis (UC). Although several mucosal species have been implicated in the disease process, the organisms and mechanisms involved are unknown. The aim of this investigation was to characterize mucosal biofilm communities over time and to determine the relationship of these bacteria to patient age and disease severity and duration. Multiple rectal biopsy specimens were taken from 33 patients with active UC over a period of 1 year. Real-time PCR was used to quantify mucosal bacteria in UC patients compared to 18 noninflammatory bowel disease controls, and the relationship between indicators of disease severity and bacterial colonization was evaluated by linear regression analysis. Significant differences were detected in bacterial populations on the UC mucosa and in the control group, which varied over the study period. High clinical activity indices (CAI) and sigmoidoscopy scores (SS) were associated with enterobacteria, desulfovibrios, type E Clostridium perfringens, and Enterococcus faecalis, whereas the reverse was true for Clostridium butyricum, Ruminococcus albus, and Eubacterium rectale. Lactobacillus and bifidobacterium numbers were linked with low CAI. Only E. rectale and Clostridium clostridioforme had a high age dependence. These findings demonstrated that longitudinal variations in mucosal bacterial populations occur in UC and that bacterial community structure is related to disease severity.