A time-kill curve employing nine sampling times over 6 h was used to provide data which were then used to develop a theoretical (best-fit) curve. From the theoretical curve parameters describing the rate of kill (alpha), time from addition of antibiotic to initiation of killing (d) and a function of the degree of killing observed (Ym/Yo) were defined. The area-under-the-curve (AUC) was calculated from the theoretical curve. The variability of each parameter was assessed using a theoretical curve to fit the data from experiments done on three occasions and in triplicate. In terms of the parameters alpha, d, Ym/Yo and AUC, no synergy was demonstrated with combinations of piperacillin/tazobactam plus ciprofloxacin or gentamicin when compared with single antibiotics. The AUC represents the best summary parameter of a time-kill curve but should be supported by other parameters describing the best-fit curve.