A retrospective survey of non-typhoid Salmonella bacteraemia in the period 1984 to 1988 was carried out by the five departments of clinical microbiology in Greater Copenhagen. A total of 168 patients were identified. A gradual increase was observed from 11 cases in 1984 to 58 cases in 1988. The corresponding incidence per 100,000 inhabitants in Copenhagen rose from 0.9 in 1984 to 5.0 in 1988. During the same period the total registered incidence of human Salmonella infections in Denmark increased from 17.6 to 67.4 per 100,000 inhabitants. The serotype most often isolated from bacteraemic patients was Salmonella dublin followed by Salmonella enteritidis and Salmonella typhimurium. Salmonella dublin demonstrated enhanced invasive and pathogenic properties. Predisposing factors were present in 56% of the patients; the most common was malignant disease. A fatal or complicated course of the bacteraemia was observed more frequently in patients with underlying diseases than in persons who had previously been healthy. A total of 17% of the patients died; one-fifth of these had a ruptured aortic aneurysm. It is concluded that the substantial increase in the number of cases and the often serious course taken by the infection demonstrate a need for increased efforts at prophylaxis.