Evidence of the possible role of wild mice in the epidemiology of Salmonella enteritidis infection on broiler breeder and layer breeder units was obtained by a bacteriological examination of local mice. Persistent S enteritidis infection in birds on these units had been a problem and a high proportion of the mice were found to carry salmonella. S enteritidis was isolated from the liver and the intestine of most of the mice, indicating a systemic infection. Three-week-old chicks were infected by contact with droppings from mice which had been infected experimentally with S enteritidis two and five months previously. Wild mice infected artificially or naturally excreted S enteritidis intermittently, with up to 10(4) organisms in some individual droppings. A naturally infected mouse which died after intermittently excreting small numbers of S enteritidis in its droppings for 19 weeks had 10(4) organisms/g of liver and 10(3)/g of macerated intestine and contents. S enteritidis was also found in fetal tissue in a naturally infected mouse suggesting the possibility that the organism might be transmitted vertically.