The complete nucleotide sequence of the leukotoxin operon of Fusobacterium necrophorum has been determined. The operon consists of three genes (lktBAC) of which the leukotoxin structural gene is the middle determinant. Southern and western blot analyses and flow cytometry analysis for biological activity of the culture supernatants were carried out to determine if the leukotoxin is present in other species of the genus Fusobacterium. Only the two subspecies of F. necrophorum were found to possess the leukotoxin locus and produce the toxin. The human periodontal pathogen, F. nucleatum does not produce detectable leukotoxin. The F. necrophorum leukotoxin was found to be active against human neutrophils.