We compared the in vitro activity of moxifloxacin, levofloxacin and six other antibiotics frequently used in respiratory tract infections, against 1563 Streptococcus pneumoniae, Streptococcus pyogenes, Staphylococcus aureus, Haemophilus influenzae and Moraxella catarrhalis clinical isolates from 21 centers in 10 Latin American countries from March 2000 to April 2001. Moxifloxacin was the most active compound against all the species included. Moxifloxacin was 2- to 4-fold more active than levofloxacin against Gram-positive bacteria. This difference was much higher against levofloxacin-resistant S. pneumoniae isolates (MIC: 0.5 mg/l vs 8 mg/l). The activity of moxifloxacin against H. influenzae and M. catarrhalis was similar to levofloxacin; all the isolates were inhibited at < or = 1 mg/l concentrations of moxifloxacin and levofloxacin.