Campylobacter jejuni of human and canine origin was inoculated orally into six gnotobiotically reared Beagle puppies and reactions were compared with two controls. Inoculated dogs developed transient lassitude, inappetence, mild diarrhea and tenesmus during the period 36-72 hours after inoculation. Pairs of dogs killed 43 hours, and five and seven days after inoculation had lesions limited to typhlitis and colitis. Congestion of colonic mucosa, associated loss of goblet cells, attenuation and exfoliation of surface epithelium with microerosions, hypertrophy of glands and neutrophil infiltration of lamina propria were seen during the acute phase. Less severe surface and inflammatory lesions were evident at five and seven days, with hyperplasia of the proliferative compartment in mucosal glands. Campylobacter established at over 10(10) organisms per gram of colonic content but did not invade the mucosa. It was concluded that the gnotobiotic dog may be a suitable model for investigation of the pathogenesis of Campylobacter colitis.