Twenty-one isolates of Listeria monocytogenes from cabbage, environmental, and water samples were evaluated for antimicrobial resistance by the disk diffusion method. Ninety-five percent (20 of 21) of the isolates tested were resistant to two or more antimicrobial agents. This finding is significant, since multiresistant strains of Listeria spp. are not commonly found in nature. Eighty-five percent (17 of 20) of the multiresistant strains were resistant to penicillin, and the remaining multiresistant isolates were somewhat sensitive to penicillin. A multiresistant strain showing intermediate sensitivity to penicillin was resistant to gentamicin. One isolate was susceptible to all antimicrobial agents except penicillin. Penicillin- and gentamicin-resistant L. monocytogenes have not previously been reported from human, food, or environmental samples. This study provides evidence of the emergence of multiresistant L. monocytogenes strains, pointing to an increase in the potential threat to human health posed by this pathogen.

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