A murine thigh-infection model was used to determine the effect of certain host- and drug-related factors on the duration of the in-vivo postantibiotic effect (PAE) observed with aminoglycosides against Gram-negative bacilli. The role of neutrophils (PMNs), pharmacokinetics and variation among species and strains were studied. PAEs were quantitated after a single injection of gentamicin or amikacin. PAEs were several hours longer in normal mice than in neutropenic mice, in mice with renal impairment than in those with normal renal function, and with strains of Klebsiella pneumoniae than with strains of Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescens and Enterobacter cloacae. Among the 15 strains of Enterobacteriaceae studied, the duration of the in-vivo PAE did not correlate with MIC, duration of in-vitro PAE, and extent of in-vivo bactericidal activity. We conclude that prolonged PAEs are consistently observed in vivo with aminoglycosides against Enterobacteriaceae, and that this duration is enhanced in the presence of PMNs and by pharmacokinetic properties simulating those observed in humans.