BACKGROUND: Bacteroides fragilis group organisms are the most frequently isolated anaerobes in human infections. Increasing resistance to various antimicrobial agents is a significant problem in choosing appropriate antimicrobial agents to treat anaerobic infections. Periodic monitoring of the regional resistance trends of B. fragilis group isolates is needed. METHODS: A total of 466 nonduplicate clinical isolates of B. fragilis group organisms (276 B. fragilis, 106 Bacteroides thetaiotaomicron, and 84 other B. fragilis group organisms) were collected during the 8-yr period from 1997 to 2004 in a Korean university hospital. Minimum inhibitory concentrations to various antimicrobial agents were determined by the CLSI agar dilution method. RESULTS: Eight isolates were resistant to imipenem. Additionally, the resistance rates to cefotetan were decreased in B. thetaiotaomicron, while those for clindamycin were significantly increased compared to the rates found in previous studies. Depending on species, resistance rates were 1-4% for imipenem, 1-6% for piperacillin-tazobactam, 4-11% for cefoxitin, 33-49% for piperacillin, 14-60% for cefotetan, and 51-76% for clindamycin. No isolates were resistant to chloramphenicol or metronidazole. CONCLUSIONS: Piperacillin-tazobactam, cefoxitin, imipenem, chloramphenicol, and metronidazole are still active against B. fragilis group isolates, while clindamycin no longer has a value as an empirical therapeutic agent in Korea. Furthermore, this study identified the first imipenem-resistant B. fragilis group isolates in Korea.