Some bacteriophages found in human faeces are being evaluated as possible indicators of viral contamination of water. These bacteriophages include somatic coliphages and Bacteroides fragilis phages. The aims of this study were to determine the occurrence and concentrations of somatic coliphages and Bacteroides fragilis phages in the stools of a human population residing in eastern France (n = 193). Somatic coliphages were detected in 68% of the stools at a mean concentration of 4.3 x 10(3) PFU.g-1 and Bacteroides fragilis phages were detected in 11% of the stools at a mean concentration of 7 x 10(1) PFU.g-1. Statistical analysis showed no correlation between the phage concentration and the age or sex of the human subject.