This study investigated the ability of Clostridium perfringens isolates derived from chickens to bind to collagen types I-V and gelatin. In total 21 strains from three distinct backgrounds were studied: (i) virulent strains isolated from birds suffering from necrotic enteritis, (ii) avirulent strains isolated from birds suffering from necrotic enteritis and (iii) strains isolated from healthy birds. All strains isolated from diseased birds had been assessed for virulence in a disease induction model. The virulent isolates all displayed collagen binding ability. However, most strains in the other two classes showed negligible binding to collagen. The prevalence of a previously described C. perfringens putative collagen adhesin-encoding gene was investigated by PCR screening. It was found that five of the strains carried the putative collagen adhesin-encoding gene and that all of these strains were virulent isolates. Based on these studies it is postulated that collagen adhesion may play a role in the pathogenesis of necrotic enteritis.