Enterococcus spp. are becoming increasingly important nosocomial pathogens. They are intrinsically resistant to most antibiotics, and effective therapy depends primarily on the penicillins, vancomycin and the aminoglycosides. Under antibiotic selection pressure they have developed high level resistance to these agents, and the first vancomycin-resistant enterococcal infection in Australia was described recently. The vancomycin-resistance genes are of particular concern because of their potential to transfer to other gram-positive organisms. The prevention and control of resistant enterococci is a major challenge that is best met by a combination of active infection control measures and restriction of broad-spectrum antibiotic use.