Sixty-nine Staphylococcus aureus isolates from two epidemiologically unrelated sources were typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis after SmaI digestion of chromosomal DNA (genome typing), and the results were compared with those obtained by other typing methods: phage typing with the international set of phages, capsular serotyping with monoclonal antibodies against capsular polysaccharides type 5 and 8, and zymotyping by polyacrylamide agarose electrophoresis for esterase polymorphism. A good correlation of S. aureus types was found by these four typing methods. Differentiation increased in the order capsular typing < zymotyping < phage typing < genome typing, yielding 2, 10, 20, and 26 different S. aureus types, respectively. Five of the 26 genome types were further divided into several subtypes revealing clonal relationships. When 36 French S. aureus isolates were compared with 33 German S. aureus isolates, 3 strains representing clonal populations were identical in both groups. S. aureus isolates from patients with cystic fibrosis were also typed at the beginning and the end of a 4-week summer camp for these patients. The results suggested a possible strain transmission during the summer camp. We conclude that genome typing by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis is a powerful tool not only for strain identification but also for the resolution of the clonal relationships of S. aureus strains.