Enterobacteriaceae, especially Klebsiella spp. producing extended-spectrum beta-lactamases (ESBLs) such as SHV and TEM types, have been established since the 1980s as a major cause of hospital-acquired infections. Appropriate infection control practices have largely prevented the dissemination of these bacteria within many hospitals, although outbreaks have been reported. However, during the late 1990s and 2000s, Enterobacteriaceae (mostly Escherichia coli) producing novel ESBLs, the CTX-M enzymes, have been identified predominantly from the community as a cause of urinary tract infections. Resistance to other classes of antibiotics, especially the fluoroquinolones, is often associated with ESBL-producing organisms. Many clinical laboratories are still not aware of the importance of screening for ESBL-producing Enterobacteriaceae originating from the community. A heightened awareness of these organisms by clinicians and enhanced testing by laboratories, including molecular surveillance studies, is required to reduce treatment failures, to limit their introduction into hospitals and to prevent the spread of these emerging pathogens within the community.