Twenty-nine Danish virus isolates and 14 serum samples from patients with mumps were genotyped by nucleotide sequencing of the small hydrophobic (SH) protein gene and the deduced 57 amino acid sequences were aligned with sequences of mumps virus strains published previously. Four neurovirulent genotypes of the SH protein gene, genotypes C, D, H and a new genotype, designated J, were found. There was a dynamic fluctuation of the different genotypes over the two decade period of time. Genotype J was found from 1981 to 1988; genotypes C and H exhibited a similar distribution in time. Genotype D was found between 1979 and 1982, it then disappeared and reappeared again in 1996. From 1996 onwards, genotype D was found to be the predominant genotype, which is in contrast to the situation seen in the neighbouring country of Sweden, where, since 1985, only genotype A has been found.