Possible drug resistance in Mycobacterium leprae strains from Venezuela and three other South American countries was surveyed by molecular methods. None of the 230 strains from new leprosy cases exhibited drug resistance-associated mutations. However, two of the three strains from relapsed cases contained dapsone resistance mutations, and one strain also harbored a rifampin resistance mutation. Single nucleotide polymorphism analysis of these strains revealed five subtypes: 3I (73.8%), 4P (11.6%), 1D (6.9%), 4N (6%), and 4O (1.7%).