Lactobacilli are members of the normal mucosal microflora of most animals. Many isolates of Lactobacillus spp. are adherent to epithelial cells. In this study, using Lactobacillus acidophilus and L. agilis, we detected adherence in a pattern that suggested that the bacteria were binding to extracellular matrix proteins. Fluorescent microscopy, by using anti-fibronectin antibody, demonstrated that the isolates localize in those areas where fibronectin was detected. In addition, fibronectin pretreatment of the bacterial cells decreased adherence to Intestinal 407 epithelial cell monolayers. Cellular binding to fibronectin was detected by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and affinity binding to radio-labeled fibronectin. Fibronectin may be one of the eukaryotic receptors mediating attachment of Lactobacillus to mucosal surfaces.