Manuring of arable soils may stimulate the spread of resistance genes by introduction of resistant populations and antibiotics. We investigated effects of pig manure and sulfadiazine (SDZ) on bacterial communities in soil microcosms. A silt loam and a loamy sand were mixed with manure containing SDZ (10 or 100 mg per kilogram of soil), and compared with untreated soil and manured soil without SDZ over a 2-month period. In both soils, manure and SDZ positively affected the quotients of total and SDZ-resistant culturable bacteria [most probable number (MPN)], and transfer frequencies of plasmids conferring SDZ resistance in filter matings of soil bacteria and an Escherichia coli recipient. Detection of sulfonamide resistance genes sul1, sul2 and sul3 in community DNA by polymerase chain reaction (PCR) and hybridization revealed a high prevalence of sul1 in manure and manured soils, while sul2 was mainly found in the loamy sand treated with manure and high SDZ amounts, and sul3 was not detected. By PCR quantification of sul1 and bacterial rrn genes, a transient effect of manure alone and a long-term effect of SDZ plus manure on absolute and relative sul1 abundance in soil was shown. The dynamics in soil of class 1 integrons, which are typically associated with sul1, was analysed by amplification of the gene cassette region. Integrons introduced by manure established in both soils. Soil type and SDZ affected the composition of integrons. The synergistic effects of manure and SDZ were still detectable after 2 months. The results suggest that manure from treated pigs enhances spread of antibiotic resistances in soil bacterial communities.