Transmissible murine colonic hyperplasia, cuased by a variant of Citrobacter freundii (4280). was shown to be modified by diet and by host strain and species. Four different diets fed to mice inoculated with C frundii 4280 were found to have a significant but varying influence on the severity of hyperplasia. Diet also influenced the colonic crypt height of uninoculated, control mice. F344 rats, Syrian hamsters, and NIH Swiss [N:(S)], C57BL/6J, C3H/HeJ, and DBA/2J mice were inoculated with C freundii 4280. Marked strain differences were noted in the mice in mortality and severity of the colonic hyperplasia. The NIH Swiss mice had the greatest and the C57BL/6J mice had the least mucosal hyperplasia. The rats and hamsters did not develop disease or maintain infection after inoculation with the organism. Twenty isolates of Citrobacter from a range of biologic sources were inoculated into susceptible mice, but only mice inoculated with C freundii 4280 developed the disease.