After oral administration of 5-aminosalicylic acid a substantial proportion of the acetylated form is excreted in the faeces. We have studied the role of the faecal microflora in acetylating 5-aminosalicylic acid. In faeces incubated under both aerobic and anaerobic conditions there was acetylation of 5-aminosalicylic acid. Of the anaerobic bacteria isolated from a 10(8) faecal dilution 44% were able to acetylate 5-aminosalicylic acid. We conclude that the normal faecal microflora contribute to the acetylation of 5-aminosalicylic acid.