The major part of the gene inlB was sequenced in 24 strains of Listeria monocytogenes belonging to serovars 1/2a, 1/2b, 1/2c, 3b and 4b. A phylogenetic analysis based on the inlB nucleotide sequences showed that strains of serovars 1/2a and 1/2c were closely related, as well as those of serovars 1/2b and 3b. Strains sharing serovar 4b could be divided into two distinct groups. There were differences in amino-acid sequence between all serovars except between serovars 1/2b and 3b. Differences in amino-acid sequence were also seen within each of the serovars 1/2a and 4b. The data presented indicate that the inlB gene may be useful for typing purposes as an alternative or complement to serotyping.