The considerable therapeutical problems of persistent infections caused by multidrug-resistant bacterial strains constitute a continuing need to find effective antimicrobial agents. The aim of this study was to demonstrate the activities of basil (Ocimum basilicum L.) and rosemary (Rosmarinus officinalis L.) essential oils against multidrug- resistant clinical strains of Escherichia coli. A detailed analysis was performed of the resistance of the drug to the strains and their sensitivity to the tested oils. The antibacterial activity of the oils was tested against standard strain Escherichia coli ATCC 25922 as well as 60 other clinical strains of Escherichia coli. The clinical strains were obtained from patients with infections of the respiratory tract, abdominal cavity, urinary tract, skin and from hospital equipment. The inhibition of microbial growth by both essential oils, presented as MIC values, were determined by agar dilution. Susceptibility testing to antibiotics was carried out using disc diffusion. The results showed that both tested essential oils are active against all of the clinical strains from Escherichia coli including extended-spectrum β-lactamase positive bacteria, but basil oil possesses a higher ability to inhibit growth. These studies may hasten the application of essential oils in the treatment and prevention of emergent resistant strains in nosocomial infections.