Capsulated cells of V. cholerae O139 adhered to formalin-fixed or native mucosa of the small intestines from an adult and a child. The primary adherence target was mucus. Capsulated O139 cells adhered better to the antigen sampling cells (M cells) of ileal Peyer's patch than to the absorptive cells. O139 cells on the mucosa appeared as small aggregates. Similar organisms were found on the mucosa of duodenal biopsy samples from patients infected with V. cholerae O139. The findings indicated that capsulated cells of V. cholerae O139 tend to autoagglutinate and contribute to the effective adherence to the intestinal mucosa.