Background. Fluoroquinolone resistance is common in Staphylococcus aureus, is increasing in Streptococcus pneumoniae, and is reported in Streptococcus pyogenes. Methods. We surveyed 384 clinical isolates of S. pyogenes, isolated during 2002-2003, for susceptibility to ciprofloxacin. We performed nucleotide sequencing of the parC and gyrA genes and determined the M/emm type for selected isolates. Additionally, we analyzed M/emm type 6 S. pyogenes isolated during 1918-2003 from diverse locations. Results. Of the survey isolates, 10.9% had reduced zones of inhibition to ciprofloxacin in the disk-diffusion test and had elevated minimum inhibitory concentrations to other fluoroquinolones, compared with those of fully susceptible isolates. Of the resistant isolates, 90.5% were M/emm type 6, and all sequenced M/emm type 6 isolates contained a serine-to-alanine substitution at position 79 in parC. Strikingly, the same findings were also present in macrolide-resistant isolates from a recent outbreak of S. pyogenes infection in Pittsburgh and in the Lancefield reference strain of M type 6, which was isolated in 1918, decades before the development of fluoroquinolone antibiotics. Conclusion. M/emm type 6 S. pyogenes has intrinsic reduced susceptibility to fluoroquinolones, as a result of a polymorphism in parC. This finding was also demonstrated in erythromycin- resistant M/emm type 6 S. pyogenes, which raises concern for the emergence of multidrug-resistant S. pyogenes.