The activities of ampicillin, amoxycillin-clavulanic acid, gentamicin, tetracycline, nalidixic acid, ciprofloxacin, pefloxacin and trovafloxacin against 207 consecutive clinical isolates of Escherichia coli were determined. Fifty-six (27.3%) isolates were haemolytic. The percentages of resistance to quinolones and tetracycline, but not to other agents, among haemolytic isolates were significantly lower (P < 0.05) than among non-haemolytic isolates. Ciprofloxacin-resistant mutants obtained from ciprofloxacin-susceptible haemolytic isolates still produced haemolysis. It is concluded that most quinolone-resistant clinical isolates of E. coli are non-haemolytic, although haemolysis is produced by quinolone-resistant mutants derived from haemolytic quinolone-susceptible strains.