The erythromycin resistance determinant from Clostridium perfringens JIR100 has been cloned, sequenced, and shown to be expressed in Escherichia coli. An open reading frame with sequence similarity to erm genes from other bacteria was identified and designated the ermQ gene. On the basis of comparative sequence analysis, it was concluded that the ermQ gene represented a new Erm hybridization class, designated ErmQ. Genes belonging to the ErmQ class were found to be widespread in C. perfringens, since 30 of 38 macrolide-lincosamide-streptogramin B-resistant C. perfringens strains, from diverse sources, hybridized to an ermQ-specific gene probe. The ermQ gene therefore represents the most common erythromycin resistance determinant in C. perfringens.