Sixty-one extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing isolates were collected from Srinagarind Hospital, Thailand. These included 43 Enterobacteriaceae and 18 Pseudomonadaceae. The 43 Enterobacteriaceae were found to produce the following ESBLs: 26 (60.5%) SHV-12, 13 (30.2%) SHV-5, two (4.7%) SHV-2a, one (2.3%) VEB-1 and one (2.3%) unidentified. Twenty-four isolates (55.8%) also carried bla(TEM-1B), as well as bla(SHV) or bla(VEB-1). Plasmid DNA from transconjugants carrying the bla(SHV-12) gene showed various restriction patterns, indicating the distribution of the bla(SHV-12) gene among different antibiotic resistance plasmids. In contrast, bla(SHV-5) in 13 isolates was found on a single plasmid of c. 130 kb. Pulsed-field gel electrophoresis (PFGE) analysis of genomic DNA from these isolates revealed that nine of 11 Klebsiella pneumoniae gave the same pattern, indicating clonal spread of the strain within the hospital, together with the occasional spread of the plasmid to other strains. Among the pseudomonad isolates, 16 Pseudomonas aeruginosa and one Pseudomonas putida had bla(VEB-like) and one P. aeruginosa had bla(SHV-12). Nine of the 16 isolates carrying bla(VEB-like) (56.3%) had identical PFGE patterns, suggesting the dissemination of this gene, also by clonal spread. At least six different bla(VEB-like-)containing integrons were found among the 18 isolates. This is the first report of bacteria producing SHV-12 and SHV-2a in Thailand and the first report of SHV-12 in P. aeruginosa, of VEB-1 in Citrobacter freundii and a VEB-1-like beta-lactamase in P. putida. These findings indicate that ESBL genes in the Far East are part of a gene pool capable of broad horizontal gene transfer, in that these genes can transfer between different families of Gram-negative bacilli.