Pseudomonas aeruginosa is a pathogen that often infects patients who are either immunocompromised or have local defects in host defences. It is known that cystic fibrosis (CF) patients are sometimes infected with certain clonal isolates. It is not clear whether these clonal isolates also infect non-CF patients and whether clonality of isolates occurs in other patient groups. The aim of this study was to investigate P. aeruginosa diversity and the occurrence of clones within five distinct paediatric patient groups susceptible to P. aeruginosa infection. P. aeruginosa isolates were cultured from 157 patients (CF first infection (CF-1 group) (29); CF chronic infection (CF-chronic group) (27); urinary tract infection (34); chronic suppurative otitis media (43); and intensive-care hospitalization/immunodeficiency (24)). All 202 phenotypically different isolates were tested for antimicrobial resistance and further typed by pulsed-field gel electrophoresis. Simpson's diversity index was calculated for the five groups. CF-chronic patients carried the highest number of distinct P. aeruginosa phenotypes and genotypes per culture. Isolates from the CF-chronic group were significantly less diverse than those from the other groups. A group of clonal isolates was observed among patients from the CF-chronic and CF-1 groups. These or different clonal isolates were not encountered among the three other patient groups. No characteristic resistance pattern could be identified among isolates from the distinct patient groups and among the clonal isolates. In conclusion, isolates of the CF-chronic group were less diverse than those in the other patient groups with P. aeruginosa infection; clonal isolates were not encountered in non-CF patients. Transmission of clonal CF isolates to other patient groups was not observed.