The aminoglycoside resistance mechanisms revealed by two surveys in Europe and other countries have been compared to those revealed in earlier studies. Mechanisms have become more complex in all bacterial groups. In Providencia, Serratia, Pseudomonas, Acinetobacter, and Staphylococcus species isolates, genus-specific mechanisms were very common, and it was not possible to see differences between different geographic areas. In other Enterobacteriaceae, the increasing complexity of mechanisms was most often caused by combinations of gentamicin-modifying enzymes with AAC(6')-I, which acetylates amikacin but not gentamicin. The occurrence of these combinations varied by geographical region and among hospitals. The frequency of these combinations correlated with aminoglycoside usage in either the geographical regions or in individual hospitals. These broad-spectrum combinations occurred most frequently in Citrobacter, Enterobacter, and Klebsiella species but also occurred in Escherichia, Morganella, Proteus, Salmonella, and Shigella species. Often the only clinically available aminoglycoside that retained its normal activity was isepamicin.