Peptostreptococcus micros is a recognized pathogen in medical infections, and its association with progressive periodontitis was examined in this study. P. micros was isolated from paper-point subgingival samples on anaerobic enriched blood agar plates and identified on the basis of cellular and colonial morphology and selected biochemical tests. In a cross-sectional study involving 907 people with advanced adult periodontitis, 127 with early-onset periodontitis, and 12 with localized juvenile periodontitis, P. micros in these patient groups occurred with a prevalence of 58-63%. In culture-positive patients, P. micros averaged 12-15% of total viable counts. P. micros demonstrated similar occurrence and proportional recovery in all age groups. In a longitudinal study of 91 adult periodontitis patients on maintenance therapy, P. micros demonstrated a significantly higher prevalence in disease-active than in disease-inactive patients (47% vs 14%). Mechanical subgingival debridement and 0.12% chlorhexidine pocket irrigation was unable to eradicate subgingival P. micros from 18 of 22 adult periodontitis patients. In vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing showed P. micros to be sensitive to therapeutic levels of penicillin, clindamycin and metronidazole. Our findings indicate that P. micros is a potential pathogen in adult periodontitis. The methods for its eradication from subgingival sites remain to be determined.