Shigella species represent one of the growing numbers of antimicrobial-resistant bacteria in developing countries. Fluoroquinolone-resistant strains of Shigella dysenteriae type 1 and Shigella flexneri type 2a emerged in India during 2002 and 2003, respectively. Sixty strains of Shigella from different parts of India were analysed for antimicrobial susceptibility, the presence of the qnr plasmid, mutations in the quinolone resistance determining regions (QRDRs), fluoroquinolone accumulation, and the presence of other genes encoding resistance to various antimicrobials. Fluoroquinolone-resistant strains had mutations in gyrA and parC genes and had an active efflux system. They were also resistant to several other antimicrobials but were susceptible to azithromycin and ceftriaxone. The majority of the strains harboured genes encoding resistance to ampicillin (97 %), tetracycline (95 %), streptomycin (95 %) and chloramphenicol (94 %). PFGE analysis revealed clonality among strains of S. dysenteriae types 1 and 5, S. flexneri type 2a and Shigella boydii type 12.