Comparative sequence analysis of a 423-bp segment of the gyrA gene including a region homologous to the quinolone resistance-determining region (QRDR) of other species was evaluated as a novel typing method for Legionella strains. The study was performed with 29 reference strains representing 11 different Legionella species, with various serogroups, and with 13 clinical isolates of L. pneumophila. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and serotyping were employed for comparison of the clinical isolates. QRDR sequencing proved to be a highly discriminative tool for typing Legionellae, and permitted identification of species, serogroups and even different strains within serogroup 1. None of the isolates were resistant to quinolones in vitro and this correlated with dissence of mutations in the QRDR region. The data show that comparative sequence analysis of a short fragment of the gyrA gene is a potentially useful tool for typing of Legionella beyond the serogroup level. It is anticipated that mutations of the QRDR may arise in Legionella as a consequence of the introduction of quinolones as the agents of choice for the treatment of infections with this agent in immunocompromised patients. The employment of QRDR-typing maybe helpful in uncovering such mutations.