From 1969 to 1974, 19 cases of Serratia marcescens endocarditis were observed in the San Francisco Bay Area. Seventeen patients were intravenous drug users, and Serratia caused 14% of all addict-associated endocarditis in San Francisco. Serratia strains were nonpigmented and had typical antibiotic sensitivities, except that 9 of the isolates exhibited colonial variation, with each variant having different antibiotic sensitivities. Aortic or mitral valves were involved in 13 patients, and heart failure developed in 9 of these. Twelve patients had embolic episodes to brain, iliofemoral arteries, or lung. Five of 6 patients with tricuspid valvulitis were cured by antibiotics either with (1) or without excision of the valve. All 12 patients with aortic or mitral valvulitis treated medically died; 11 had unremitting sepsis. Aortic valve replacement and antibiotics were effective in 1. Gentamicin combined with either carbenicillin or chloramphenicol was the most effective treatment regimen.