Voriconazole (VfendTM) is a new triazole that currently is undergoing phase III clinical trials. This review summarizes the published data obtained by NCCLS methods on the in vitro antifungal activity of voriconazole in comparison to itraconazole, amphotericin B, fluconazole, ketoconazole and flucytosine. Voriconazole had fungistatic activity against most yeasts and yeastlike species (minimum inhibitory concentrations [MICs] < 2 microg/ml) that was similar or superior to those of fluconazole, amphotericin B, and itraconazole. Against Candida glabrata and C. krusei, voriconazole MIC ranges were 0.03 to 8 and 0.01 to > 4 microg/ml, respectively. For four of the six Aspergillus spp. evaluated, voriconazole MICs (< 0.03 to 2 microg/ml) were lower than amphotericin B (0.25 to 4 microg/ml) and similar to itraconazole MICs. Voriconazole fungistatic activity against Fusarium spp. has been variable. Against E oxysporum and F. solani, most studies showed MICs ranging from 0.25 to 8 microg/ml. Voriconazole had excellent fungistatic activity against five of the six species of dimorphic fungi evaluated (MIC90s < 1.0 microg/ml). The exception was Sporothrix schenckii (MIC90s and geometric mean MICs > or = 8 microg/ml). Only amphotericin B had good fungistatic activity against the Zygomycetes species (voriconazole MICs ranged from 2 to > 32 microg/ml). Voriconazole showed excellent in vitro activity (MICs < 0.03 to 1.0 microg/ml) against most of the 50 species of dematiaceous fungi tested, but the activity of all the agents was poor against most isolates of Scedosporium prolificans and Phaeoacremonium parasiticum (Phialophora parasitica). Voriconazole had fungicidal activity against most Aspergillus spp., B. dermatitidis, and some dematiaceous fungi. In vitro/in vivo correlations should aid in the interpretation of these results.