Two vancomycin-resistant, strictly anaerobic, Gram-positive, rod-shaped, spore-forming organisms (strains CCRI-9842(T) and CCRI-9929) isolated from human faecal specimens in Québec, Canada, and Australia were characterized using phenotypic, biochemical and molecular taxonomic methods. Pairwise analysis of the 16S rRNA gene sequences showed that both strains were closely related to each other genetically (displaying 99.2 % sequence similarity) and represented a previously unknown subline within the Clostridium coccoides rRNA group of organisms (rRNA cluster XIVa of the genus Clostridium). Strains CCRI-9842(T) and CCRI-9929 used carbohydrates as fermentable substrates, producing acetic acid as the major product of glucose metabolism. The novel strains were most closely related to Clostridium asparagiforme, Clostridium bolteae and Clostridium clostridioforme, but morphological, biochemical and phylogenetic studies demonstrated that they represent a previously unidentified species of the genus Clostridium. This was confirmed by the unique cellular fatty acid composition of strains CCRI-9842(T) and CCRI-9929. Therefore, on the basis of data from the polyphasic taxonomic analysis, it is proposed that strains CCRI-9842(T) and CCRI-9929 represent a novel species of the genus Clostridium, for which the name Clostridium lavalense sp. nov. is proposed. The type strain is CCRI-9842(T) (=CCUG 54291(T)=JCM 14986(T)=NML 03-A-015(T)).