Bacteremia is a rare complication of peritonitis in end-stage renal failure (ESRF) patients treated by peritoneal dialysis. Three of our ESRF patients on peritoneal dialysis developed bacteremia during a peritonitis episode (1/19 peritonitis episodes). In 2 cases, the responsible organism was Escherichia coli and peritonitis was most likely associated with infection of the biliary tract. The 3rd patient had a perforation of the colon and Klebsiella spp. was the infective organism. Only the last patient survived but had to be transferred to hemodialysis. Bacteremia during peritonitis is infrequent in peritoneal dialysis patients and it appears to be related to other intra-abdominal events.