As part of a WHO multicenter study on Listeria monocytogenes subtyping methods the random amplification of polymorphic DNA (RAPD)-technique was evaluated. Six participants were asked to use a standard protocol to analyse a set of 80 L. monocytogenes strains. This set contained 22 groups of epidemiologically linked isolates and 11 pairs of duplicate strains. Using three different 10-mer primers the median reproducibility of the RAPD-results obtained by the six participants was 86.5% (range 0-100%). Failure in reproducibility was mainly due to results obtained with one particular primer. The number of epidemiological groups found to be homogeneous varied from 1-22 (median 16). However, for some groups an inhomogeneity was found by the majority of participants. The overall correlation between the results from the different participants ranged from 32 to 85%.