Experiments with 2 wild type isolates of Salmonella enterica serotype Enteritidis PT4, which differed in RpoS expression, tolerance to certain hostile environments and pathogenicity, found that changes in in vitro acid, heat, or peroxide tolerance had no effect on the ability of the isolates to multiply in the spleens of C57/BL7/J mice infected orally. Thus, with the pathogenic RpoS-positive isolate, the infectivity of log phase chilled cells, which are profoundly acid-sensitive, was the same as that of non-chilled stationary phase cells which are acid-tolerant. Similarity the infectivity of the RpoS-negative, sensitive isolate, was not enhanced by increases in any tolerance. The ability to survive on surfaces, like infectivity, was also largely unaffected by either growth phase or cold exposure. These two attributes may thus be related and, given that the pathogenic PT4 isolate is capable of prolonged survival and the nonpathogenic isolate survives poorly, survival could serve as a potential marker of pathogenicity. Although the pathogenicity of the two isolates was very different, they showed an almost identical increase in acid tolerance following culture at pH 4.0 for up to 60 min.