The clinical relevance of Campylobacter concisus in gastrointestinal disease has not been determined definitively. This study investigated the phenotypic and genotypic characteristics of 39 C. concisus isolates from Danish patients with diarrhoea, three isolates from healthy individuals and the type strain. A cytolethal distending toxin (CDT)-like effect on Vero cells was observed in 35 (90%) isolates from patients with diarrhoea, in all three isolates from healthy individuals and in the type strain. Analysis of SDS-PAGE protein profiles and PCR amplification of 23S rDNA assigned the isolates into two distinct, but discordant groups. Automated ribotyping (RiboPrinting) identified 34 distinct patterns among the 43 isolates, but cluster analysis did not separate isolates from patients with diarrhoea from isolates from healthy patients. Random amplified polymorphic DNA (RAPD) analysis with three primers identified 37 unique profiles, but requires further evaluation. The isolates obtained from healthy carriers were distinguished by cluster analysis from the isolates obtained from patients with diarrhoea. All the isolates were susceptible to 11 antimicrobial agents tested. Overall, there was considerable variability between the C. concisus isolates, but there were no clear phenotypic or genotypic differences between isolates from patients with diarrhoea and isolates from healthy carriers. Further evidence is needed to support the possible role of C. concisus as a human enteric pathogen.