There are few data available for the trends of antimicrobial resistance of Salmonella enterica subspecies enterica serovar Pullorum (S. Pullorum) in China and other parts of the world. Thus, the objective of this study was to evaluate the changes in antimicrobial resistance of S. Pullorum isolated from diseased chickens in China from 1962 to 2007. A total of 450 S. Pullorum isolates were tested for their susceptibility to 17 antimicrobials in a disk diffusion method. 39-95% of the isolates displayed a high level of resistance, particularly against ampicillin, carbenicillin, streptomycin, tetracycline, trimethoprim and sulfafurazole. Isolates exhibited increased resistance to carbenicillin, spectinomycin, trimethoprim, trimethoprim/sulfamethoxazole and nalidixic acid during the study period. Moreover, 56.2% of the isolates exhibited multiple drug resistance (MDR; resistance> or =4 antimicrobials) and showed an increasing trend between 1970-1979 and 2000-2007. Therefore, the results suggest that certain measures, including continued surveillance of antimicrobial resistance and the rational use of antimicrobials, are necessary and important in order to control the rapid increase in antimicrobial resistance in S. Pullorum.