A total of 18 'Streptococcus milleri' strains including the ATCC type strains of Streptococcus anginosus, Streptococcus constellatus and Streptococcus intermedius were compared with Streptococcus oralis ATCC10557 for their ability to induce infective endocarditis in catheterized rats. Three days after intravenous injection of 10(8) colony-forming units all 8 S. anginosus strains tested produced infective vegetations and bacteremia in almost all rats whereas 5 S. constellatus strains and the S. oralis strain produced infective vegetations and bacteremia less frequently and 5 S. intermedius strains only occasionally. The vegetations infected with the S. anginosus strains harbored microbial cells in significantly higher numbers that those with the other strains. No strong correlation was found between the endocardial infectivity and platelet-aggregating capacity of these strains. The platelet-aggregating strains were members of the Lancefield groups F and G or ungroupable but not of group A or C.