The role of Brachyspira bacteria in the aetiology of increased mortality observed in two breeder goose flocks (Flock A consisting of 1,500 and Flock B comprising 4,500 laying geese) at the end of the first egg-laying season, in the period of moulting, was studied. In Flock A 415 geese (28%) died during an 8-week period while in Flock B 834 geese (18%) died during a 12-week period. On gross pathological examination, the geese were found to have haemorrhagic-to-necrotic inflammation of the large intestine (colon and rectum) and fibrinonecrotic typhlitis accompanied by severe degeneration. Often, fibrosis of the kidneys, and in five of the geese secondary visceral urate deposition ("visceral gout") was also observed. Histopathological examination consistently demonstrated spirochaetes in the mucous membrane of the affected large intestine. This was confirmed by the results of immunohistochemical and electron microscopic examination. In addition, Trichomonas stages were also detected from the large intestine of 11 geese. On the basis of their cultural and biochemical properties, and PCR sequencing analysis, eight out of the nine spirochaete strains isolated from the geese by culture on special media under anaerobic conditions were identified as Brachyspira alvinipulli. This is the first report on the isolation of B. alvinipulli from laying geese affected with fibrinonecrotic typhlocolitis.