Multiple studies have shown that the incidence of infectious complications after penetrating abdominal wounds are decreased by the perioperative administration of antibiotics. In this study of three separate single cephalosporin agents (cefotaxime, cefoxitin, and moxalactam) given for a 48 hour period in patients who sustained perforating gastrointestinal wounds, uncomplicated recoveries occurred in 93 percent of all patients. The rates of uncomplicated recovery were significantly different for the three groups; however, patients with major intraabdominal vascular injuries were more common in the cefoxitin-treated group. One disturbing feature was the presence of enterococci in 57 percent of isolates from wound infections and 60 percent of isolates from intraabdominal abscesses. Enterococci as sole isolates were found in one of two wound infections and three of four intraabdominal abscesses in the moxalactam-treated group.