A polyphasic taxonomic study was performed on nine isolates recovered from various human clinical samples. Phenotypically, these isolates resembled Alcaligenes faecalis. Whole-cell protein analysis distinguished two different species, and this was confirmed by DNA-DNA hybridizations. Cellular fatty acid analysis and 16S rDNA sequence analysis indicated that these isolates were related to the genera Alcaligenes, Bordetella, Achromobacter and Pigmentiphaga and belonged to the family Alcaligenaceae. On the basis of the results of this study, the organisms were classified in a novel genus, Kerstersia gen. nov. This genus comprises one species, Kerstersia gyiorum sp. nov. (type strain LMG 5906(T)=API 184-2-84(T)=CCUG 47000(T)), and several unnamed isolates. The DNA G+C content of members of the genus Kerstersia is between 61.5 and 62.9 mol%. On the basis of previously published DNA-DNA hybridization results and data from chemotaxonomic studies, it is proposed that Alcaligenes denitrificans Rüger and Tan 1983 be reclassified as Achromobacter denitrificans comb. nov.