The two serotyping schemes for the detection of heat-stable antigens of Campylobacterjejuni and Campylobacter coli use the same strains for antiserum production but differ in the detection systems used for identifying agglutination. The Penner method uses passive hemagglutination (PHA) while the Laboratory of Enteric Pathogens method uses the same antisera but in a whole-bacterial-cell direct agglutination (DA) protocol. C. jejuni produces a polysaccharide capsule, which is antigenic, and is the main component detected by the PHA method. The DA method will detect both capsule antigens and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) or lipooligosaccharide (LOS) surface antigens. Comparison of both methods by using a selection of isolates from human infection has shown a range of variation in agglutination specificity, reflecting the differences in antigens detected by the two methods. While 27.4% of the 416 C. jejuni isolates reacted with the antisera raised against the same type strains by either method, the majority showed a range of more complex relationships. None of the 37 C. coli isolates reacted with the same antiserum by both methods. Together the two schemes gave a total of 102 distinct combined serogroups for C. jejuni and 16 for C. coli. Thus, while some clonally related isolates share the same capsule and LOS or LPS antigens, other strains appear to have a common capsule antigen but differ in their LPS or LOS structures or vice versa.