The extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL)-producing bacteria have been isolated at increasing frequency worldwide. Expression of ESBL is often associated with multidrug resistance and dissemination by resistance plasmids. During a two-month period in 2000, 133 clinical isolates of enterobacterial strains were randomly collected from outpatients and inpatients at a university hospital in Turkey. The ESBL producing strains were determined by double-disk synergy (DDS) testing. Twenty ESBL producing strains (15%) including Escherichia coli (n = 9), Klebsiella pneumoniae (n = 7), Klebsiella oxytoca (n = 2) and Enterobacter aerogenes (n = 2) were detected and further analyzed for their resistance transfer features, plasmid profile and nature of the resistance genes. Plasmid transfer assays were performed using broth mating techniques. TEM- and SHV-genes were analyzed by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and hybridization using specific probes. EcoRI restriction enzyme analyses of R plasmids were used in the detection of epidemic plasmids. Fourteen plasmid profiles (A, B1, B2, C1, and C2 to L) were obtained with EcoRI restriction enzyme analysis. Most of these plasmids were detected to carry both TEM- and SHV-derived genes by PCR, and confirmed by localizing each gene by hybridization assay. Epidemiological evidence indicated that there was an apparent horizontal dissemination of conjugative R plasmids among multidrug-resistant enterobacterial genera and species in this hospital.