The extracellular proteases of 395 isolates of B. nodusus from ovine, bovine and caprine foot lesions were classified as either thermostable or thermolabile. Stable protease was associated with one and unstable protease with four distinctive isoenzyme patterns, each pattern differentiated by the relative mobility of paired isoenzymes. Pathogenicity tests on 64 isolates showed a correlation between the production of stable protease and the production of virulent ovine footrot lesions. The mean values for total protease activity, twitching motility and colony diameter were significantly higher for virulent compared to beningn isolates, but the range of values overlapped. SDS-PAGE whole-cell electrophoretic profiles of virulent isolates were similar to the profiles of some benign isolates.