The in vitro activity of BAY 12-8039, a new fluoroquinolone, was studied in comparison with those of ciprofloxacin, trovafloxacin (CP 99,219), cefpodoxime, and amoxicillin-clavulanate against gram-negative, gram-positive, and anaerobic bacteria. Its activity against mycobacteria and chlamydia was also investigated. BAY 12-8039 was active against members of the family Enterobacteriaceae (MIC at which 90% of strains tested were inhibited [MIC90S] < or = 1 microgram/ml, except for Serratia spp. MIC90 2 microgram/ml), Neisseria spp. (MIC90S, 0.015 microgram/ml), Haemophilus influenzae (MIC90, 0.03 microgram/ml), and Moraxella catarrhalis (MIC90, 0.12 micrgram/ml), and these results were comparable to those obtained for ciprofloxacin and trovafloxacin. Against Pseudomonas aeruginosa, the quinolones were more active than the beta-lactam agents but BAY 12-8039 was less active than ciprofloxacin. Strains of Stenotrophomonas maltophilia were fourfold more susceptible to BAY 12-8039 and trovafloxacin (MIC90S, 2 micrograms/ml) than to ciprofloxacin. BAY 12-8039 was as active as trovafloxacin but more active than ciprofloxacin against Streptococcus pneumoniae (MIC90, 0.25 microgram/ml) and methicillin-susceptible Staphylococcus auerus (MIC90S, 0.12 micrograms/ml). The activity of BAY 12-8039 against methicillin-resistant S. aureus (MIC90, 2 micrograms/ml) was lower than that against methicillin-susceptible strains. BAY 12-8039 was active against anaerobes (MIC90S < or = 2 micrograms/ml), being three- to fourfold more active against Bacteroides fragilis, Prevotella spp., and Clostridium difficile than was ciprofloxacin. Against Mycobacterium tuberculosis, BAY 12-8039 exhibited activity comparable to that of rifampin (MICs < or = 0.5 micrograms/ml). Against Chlamydia trachomatis and Chlamydia pneumoniae BAY 12-8039 was more active (MICs < or = 0.12 microgram/ml) than either ciprofloxacin or erythromycin and exhibited a greater lethal effect than either to these two agents. The protein binding of BAY 12-8039 was determined at 1 and 5 micrograms/ml as 30 and 26.4%, respectively. The presence of human serum (at 20 or 70%) had no marked effect on the in vitro activity of BAY 12-8039.