Isolates of Vibrio cholerae O1 biotype El Tor serotype Inaba associated with an outbreak of cholera in Trivandrum, southern India, were characterized. PCR testing revealed that all five isolates examined carried the TCP pathogenicity island, the CTX genetic element and the RTX toxin, and produced cholera toxin (CT). RFLP analysis revealed that these Inaba isolates possessed a single copy of the CTX element flanked by two tandemly arranged copies of the RS element upstream of the core region. The isolates were resistant to ampicillin, nalidixic acid, trimethoprim, sulfamethoxazole, streptomycin and the vibriostatic agent 2,4-diamino-6,7-diisopropylpteridine (O/129). Ribotyping of these Inaba isolates revealed a hybridization profile similar to a strain of serotype Ogawa prevalent in southern India.