A study employing a polyphasic taxonomic approach was undertaken to clarify the position of 12 isolates recovered from sewage samples. These isolates were recognized as a potential novel species because a new and specific pattern was produced with the 16S rRNA-RFLP Arcobacter identification method. The sequences of the 16S rRNA gene not only supported the classification of these novel strains as members of the genus Arcobacter, but also showed that they formed a separate phylogenetic line. Strain SW28-11(T), chosen as the representative of these strains, showed 16S rRNA gene sequence similarity of 95.6 % with the closest related species Arcobacter nitrofigilis. The phylogenetic position of the novel strains was further confirmed by analysis of the housekeeping genes hsp60, rpoB and, for the first time, gyrB. The latter proved to be an excellent additional gene for establishing the phylogeny of this genus. These data, together with phenotypic characterization, revealed that this group of isolates represent a novel species of the genus Arcobacter. The name Arcobacter defluvii sp. nov., is proposed, with the type strain SW28-11(T) ( = CECT 7697(T) = LMG 25694(T)).