This report reviews 55 episodes of enterococcal bacteremia at two large community teaching hospitals. Fifty-eight percent of the patients were older than 60 years, and 84 percent of the patients had some underlying illness. The most common sources of bacteremia were the urinary tract (24 percent), cutaneous wound infection (11 percent), and intra-abdominal infection (11 percent). Five patients had enterococcal endocarditis. Antimicrobial therapy in the week preceding enterococcal bacteremia (42 percent) and polymicrobial bacteremia (38 percent) were common. Despite the institution of appropriate antimicrobial therapy in 75 percent of the patients (41 of 55 patients), the overall mortality rate was 44 percent. Male sex and the presence of a rapidly or ultimately fatal underlying illness were the only factors that showed a statistical tendency toward adversely influencing the mortality risk in enterococcal bacteremia.