The prevalence and the genotypic and phenotypic characteristics of multinucleoside-resistant (MNR) human immunodeficiency virus type 1 (HIV-1) variants in Europe were investigated in a multicenter study that involved centers in nine European countries. Study samples (n = 363) collected between 1991 and 1997 from patients exposed to two or more nucleoside analogue reverse transcriptase inhibitors (NRTIs) and 274 control samples from patients exposed to no or one NRTI were screened for two marker mutations of multinucleoside resistance (the Q151M mutation and a mutation with a 2-amino-acid insertion at codon 69, T69S-XX). Q151M was identified in six of the study samples (1. 6%), and T69S-XX was identified in two of the study samples (0.5%; both of them T69S-SS), but both patterns were absent among control samples. Non-NRTI (NNRTI)-related changes were observed in viral strains from two patients, which displayed the Q151M resistance pattern, although the patients were NNRTI naive. The patients whose isolates displayed multinucleoside resistance had received treatment with zidovudine and either didanosine, zalcitabine, or stavudine. Both resistance patterns conferred broad cross-resistance to NRTIs in vitro and a poor response to treatment in vivo. MNR HIV-1 is found only among multinucleoside-experienced patients. Its prevalence is low in Europe, but it should be closely monitored since it seriously limits treatment options.