A restriction fragment length polymorphism (RFLP) typing method for Legionella pneumophila serogroup 1 was developed. The method depended upon the use of cloned EcoR1 fragments from L. pneumophila (Knoxville-1) probing Nci1 restriction fragments of chromosomal DNA. Examination of strains of L. pneumophila which were apparently unrelated showed that inter-strain RFLPs were common, and these formed the basis of the typing scheme. The technique was found to be highly reproducible and discriminatory. When the RFLP data were compared to that obtained by monoclonal antibody (MAb) subgrouping both methods of strain differentiation gave consistent results. The isolates examined by either method were also sub-divided by the alternative technique. The analysis of RFLPs by cloned probes should be of considerable epidemiological value.