A helically coiled, anaerobic, gram-positive sporeforming bacillus, identified as Clostridium spiroforme, was isolated from the cecal contents of all of 27 rabbits with spontaneous diarrhea, at a mean concentration of 10(6.0) spores per g of material. All of these rabbits also had a toxin present in their cecal contents that was neutralized by anti-Clostridium perfringens type E iota toxin, but not by other clostridial antitoxins. In addition, four rabbits with clindamycin-associated colitis were positive for C. spiroforme at a mean concentration of 10(4.5). All of these animals also had iota-like toxin present. Iota-like toxin was not detected in the cecal contents of 72 healthy animals, although C. spiroforme was found in two of these animals at a mean concentration of 10(6.0). C. spiroforme was shown to produce a toxin in vitro that was lethal to mice and caused dermonecrosis in guinea pigs. In all cases, this toxin was neutralized by anti-C. perfringens type E iota toxin.