Comprehensive bacterial cultures were made on samples from 20 pigs that had died of porcine dermatitis and nephropathy syndrome after a short clinical illness. Eleven species of porcine bacterial pathogens and a range of commensal organisms were isolated. Pasteurella multocida was isolated from 16 of the 20 cases but the other pathogens occurred much less commonly. P multocida was isolated from between one and five sites per case and from the tonsils, retropharyngeal lymph node or lungs in 14 of the 16 cases. Immunohistochemical investigations of kidneys from 30 cases of the syndrome (including the 20 cases in the bacteriological study) revealed P multocida-specific staining in 26 of the cases, primarily in the renal tubular epithelial cells of the proximal convoluted tubules, but also in the glomeruli, in lesions of renal vasculitis and in the cytoplasm of interstitial mononuclear cells.