The present study compares the ability to detect extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBL) among a collection of 34 ESBL producing clinical isolates belonging to Escherichia coli and Klebsiella species with two new rapid susceptibility and identification instruments-VITEK2 (bioMérieux, Marcy l'Etoile, France) vs. BDPhoenix (BD Biosciences, Sparks, MD). ESBL content in these isolates was previously characterized on the basis of PCR amplification and sequencing results which were used as the reference method in our evaluation. BDPhoenix correctly determined the ESBL outcome for all strains tested (100% detection rate), whereas VITEK2 was not able to detect the ESBL status in 5 isolates (85% detection rate). Detailed analysis revealed that the discrepancies were mainly observed with 'difficult-to-detect' strains. Misidentification was either due to low oximino cephalosporin MIC in these strains or was associated with pronounced 'cefotaximase' or 'ceftazidimase' phenotypes. Klebsiella oxytoca chromosomal beta-lactamase (K1) is phenotypically quite similar to ESBL enzymes. In order to evaluate whether the K1 and ESBL enzymes could be discriminated, we expanded our analysis by 8 clinical K. oxytoca strains with K1 phenotypes. VITEK2 gave excellent identification of these strains whereas 7 out of 8 were falsely labeled ESBL-positive by the BDPhoenix system.