The in vitro activities of several antimicrobial agents against clinical isolates of Streptococcus pneumoniae (283), Haemophilus influenzae (272), Moraxella catarrhalis (179) and Streptococcus pyogenes (256) were determined in a multicentre study with the participation of five hospitals from four cities in Turkey. Penicillin resistance in S. pneumoniae was evaluated using the E-test and the remaining agents by disk diffusion. For S. pneumoniae overall 25.8% of the isolates were intermediately and 3.9% were highly resistant to penicillin and resistance to chloramphenicol, azithromycin and trimethoprim/sulphamethoxazole (TMP/SMX) was 3.8, 2.1 and 55.4%,, respectively. Seven percent of H. influenzae produced P-lactamase and all were susceptible to cefotaxime and azithromycin; the highest rate of resistance, 23.5%, was for TMP/SMX. Eighty-one percent of M. catarrhalis isolates produced beta-lactamase, 18.4% were resistant to TMP/SMX and all were susceptible to sulbactam/ampicillin combination. Resistance to chloramphenicol and azithromycin of S. pyogenes was 2.2 and 1.9%, respectively. (C) 2002 Elsevier Science B.V. and International Society of Chemotherapy. All rights reserved.