In this study, 153 clinical isolates of Shigella were screened for extended-spectrum beta-lactamase (ESBL) production by double-disk synergy test. After being confirmed by the combined disk-test and inhibitor-combined E-test strips, all positive isolates were tested for the bla gene by PCR and the enzymes by isoelectric focusing. DNA sequencing of PCR products revealed that five Shigella sonnei isolates had CTX-M-3 type ESBL enzymes. All of them were resistant to ampicillin, sulfamethoxazole and cefotaxime but susceptible to ofloxacin and ceftazidime. All isolates displayed identical patterns in pulsed-field gel electrophoresis and enterobacterial repetitive intergenic consensus PCR. This study reports multidrug-resistant (MDR) S. sonnei isolates producing CTX-M-3 type ESBL from successive pediatric bacillary dysentery patients, indicating widespread and rapid spread of CTX-M type ESBL in Shigella spp. To counter this emerging threat to public health, the surveillance of CTX-M type beta-lactamases should be considered, together with measures designed to prevent outbreaks of MDR Shigella in the community.