Fluoroquinolones are variably active against methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) and methicillin-resistant Staphylococcus epidermidis (MRSE). The purpose of this study was to test the in vitro susceptibility of 50 isolates each of MRSA and MRSE to four of the new fluoroquinolones - sparfloxacin, ciprofloxacin, ofloxacin and norfloxacin - and to see if resistance could be induced in five susceptible strains of each species by serial passage with increasing concentrations of drug. A standard microdilution technique was used to determine minimal inhibitory concentrations (MICs) and minimal bactericidal concentrations (MBCs) of each drug for each isolate. Agar dilution plates were also prepared containing concentrations of drug varying from one-half of the reported MIC to 128 times the reported MIC, and microorganisms persisting were serially passaged. Initially, 98 % of the strains of MRSA were susceptible to the fluoroquinolones. MBCs were essentially identical to MICs. Similarly, 96 % of the strains of MRSE were susceptible. Following exposure to increasing concentrations of each fluoroquinolone, resistance appeared to emerge less rapidly to sparfloxacin and ofloxacin than to norfloxacin and ciprofloxacin. © 1992 Friedr. Vieweg & Sohn Verlagsgesellschaft mbH.