We obtained throat cultures from 100 randomly selected people free from any chronic upper or lower respiratory disease who did not work in a hospital and who had not experienced any acute illness or received any antibacterial therapy in the 4 weeks preceding culture. Eighteen percent harbored either a species of Enterobacteriaceae or Pseudomonas aeruginosa in their pharynx. In all cases, colony counts were low, the majority being detected in broth media selective for Gram-negative rods. There were no clear-cut age or sex distributions of Gram-negative pharyngeal carriage. These data imply that, in at least some cases, isolation of Gram-negative rods from sputum of untreated patients may be a normal finding, and that in some patients with pulmonary infection, the pretreatment, upper respiratory tract flora may serve as the source of subsequent superinfection with Gram-negative rods.