One hundred and seven clinical isolates of Streptococcus pyogenes, 80 susceptible to macrolides and 27 resistant to erythromycin A (MIC >0.5 μg/ml), were examined. The erythromycin A-lincomycin double-disk test assigned 7 resistant strains to the M-phenotype, 8 to the inducible macrolide, lincosamide, and streptogramin B resistance (iMLSB) phenotype, and 12 to the constitutive MLSB resistance (cMLSB) phenotype. MICs of erythromycin A, clarithromycin, azithromycin, roxithromycin, and clindamycin were determined by a broth microdilution method. MICs of telithromycin were determined by three different methods (broth microdilution, agar dilution, and E-test methods) in an ambient air atmosphere and in a 5 to 6% CO2 atmosphere. Erythromycin A resistance genes were investigated by PCR in the 27 erythromycin A-resistant isolates. MICs of erythromycin A and clindamycin showed six groups of resistant strains, groups A to F. iMLSB strains (A, B, and D groups) are characterized by two distinct patterns of resistance correlated with genotypic results. A- and B-group strains were moderately resistant to 14- and 15-membered ring macrolides and highly susceptible to telithromycin. All A- and B-group isolates harbored erm TR gene, D-group strains, highly resistant to macrolides and intermediately resistant to telithromycin (MICs, 1 to 16 μg/ml), were all characterized by having the ermB gene. All M-phenotype isolates (C group), resistant to 14- and 15-membered ring macrolides and susceptible to clindamycin and telithromycin, harbored the mefA gene. All cMLSB strains (E and F groups) with high level of resistance to macrolides, lincosamide, and telithromycin had the ermB gene. The effect of 5 to 6% CO2 was remarkable on resistant strains, by increasing MICs of telithromycin from 1 to 6 twofold dilutions against D-E- and F-group isolates.