We obtained isoenzyme patterns by polyacrylamide gradient gel electrophoresis (PGGE) of water-soluble protein fractions prepared from trophozoites of 11 axenic G. lamblia strains. The strains were isolated from animals and humans (both symptomatic and asymptomatic) from various geographic locations. Isoenzymes were also separated by isoelectric focusing. Of 12 enzymes attempted, eight exhibited well-defined and reproducible isoenzyme patterns by PGGE, based on which the strains were grouped into four zymodemes. Although the 11 strains were grouped into four zymodemes based on PGGE, no correlation between zymodeme and the known characteristics of the strains existed. Thus, a high degree of characteristic sharing appears to occur among genetically different G. lamblia strains.