We performed polymerase chain reaction analysis, for Mycobacterium species 16S rRNA, rpoB, and IS6110 sequences, on 25 tissue specimens from patients with sarcoidosis and on 25 control tissue specimens consisting of mediastinal or cervical lymph nodes and lung biopsies. Mycobacterium species 16S rRNA sequences were amplified from 12 (48%) rpoB sequences and from 6 (24%) of the sarcoidosis specimens. In total, 16S rRNA or rpoB sequences were amplified from 15 sarcoidosis specimens (60%) but were not detected in any of the control tissues (p=0.00002, chi square). In three specimens, the sequences resembled Mycobacterium species other than M. tuberculosis. All specimens with sequences consistent with M. tuberculosis were negative for IS6110. We provide evidence that one of a variety of Mycobacterium species, especially organisms resembling M. tuberculosis, is found in most patients with sarcoidosis.