Enteric Escherichia coli infections are a highly relevant cause of disease and death in young pigs. Breeding genetically resistant pigs is an economical and sustainable method of prevention. Resistant pigs are protected against colonization of the intestine through the absence of receptors for the bacterial fimbriae, which mediate adhesion to the intestinal surface. The present work aimed at elucidation of the mode of inheritance of the F4ad receptor which according to former investigations appeared quite confusing. Intestines of 489 pigs of an experimental herd were examined by a microscopic adhesion test modified in such a manner that four small intestinal sites instead of one were tested for adhesion of the fimbrial variant F4ad. Segregation analysis revealed that the mixed inheritance model explained our data best. The heritability of the F4ad phenotype was estimated to be 0.7±0.1. There are no relations to the strong receptors for variants F4ab and F4ac. Targeted matings allowed the discrimination between two F4ad receptors, that is, a fully adhesive receptor (F4adRFA) expressed on all enterocytes and at all small intestinal sites, and a partially adhesive receptor (F4adRPA) variably expressed at different sites and often leading to partial bacterial adhesion. In pigs with both F4ad receptors, the F4adRPA receptor is masked by the F4adRFA. The hypothesis that F4adRFA must be encoded by at least two complementary or epistatic dominant genes is supported by the Hardy-Weinberg equilibrium statistics. The F4adRPA receptor is inherited as a monogenetic dominant trait. A comparable partially adhesive receptor for variant F4ab (F4abRPA) was also observed but the limited data did not allow a prediction of the mode of inheritance. Pigs were therefore classified into one of eight receptor phenotypes: A1 (F4abRFA/F4acR+/F4adRFA); A2 (F4abRFA/F4acR+/F4adRPA); B (F4abRFA/F4acR+/F4adR-); C1 (F4abRPA/F4acR-/F4adRFA); C2 (F4abRPA/F4acR-/F4adRPA); D1 (F4abR-/F4acR-/F4adRFA); D2 (F4abR-/F4acR-/F4adRPA); E (F4abR-/F4acR-/F4adR-).