A total of 142 strains from different serotypes of Streptococcus suis isolated in Spain from diseased pigs (88 strains) and healthy carrier pigs (54 strains) were studied for the presence of a muramidase released protein (MRP) and an extracellular factor (EF). The following five phenotypes: MRP+EF+, MRP+EF-. MRP-EF+, MRP+EF* and MRP*EF-were detecied. A high percentage of S suis serotype 2 strains isolated from diseased pigs (84 per cent) belonged to phenotype MRP+EF+, but this phenotype has also been noticed in other serotypes (serotypes 1, 1/2 and 14). Both proteins were detected in S suis serotype 2 strains (26%) isolated from healthy carrier pigs and one of both proteins in serotypes 1 and 14 (phenotype MRP+EF*). The isolation of S suis strains from healthy pigs which have shown both proteins may support the epidemiological significance of these carriers in the maintenance, transmission and distribution of virulent strains within and between swine farms.