To evaluate the prevalence of extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing strains among species of Enterobacteriaceae, a microdilution susceptibility test was performed with strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae, Escherichia coli, Proteus mirabilis, and Salmonella species that were isolated as part of the SENTRY project. The highest percentage of ESBL phenotype (defined as a minimum inhibitory concentration [MIC] > or =2 microg/mL for ceftazidime, ceftriaxone, or aztreonam) was detected among K. pneumoniae strains from Latin America (45%), followed by those from the Western Pacific region (25%), Europe (23%), the United States (8%), and Canada (5%). P. mirabilis and E. coli strains for which MICs of extended-spectrum cephalosporins or monobactams were elevated also were more prominent in Latin America. Testing with ceftazidime revealed more isolates with elevated MICs than did testing with ceftriaxone or aztreonam. ESBL strains showed high levels of co-resistance to aminoglycosides, tetracycline, trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole, and ciprofloxacin. Imipenem remains highly effective against ESBL strains. Organisms expressing an ESBL are widely distributed worldwide, although prevalence rates are significantly higher in certain geographic regions.