The in-vitro activity of colistin sulphomethate sodium was compared with that of other commonly used antimicrobial agents against 377 recent clinical isolates of Gram-negative bacteria (including 94 strains of Pseudomonas aeruginosa from patients with cystic fibrosis) and 16 organisms with defined resistance patterns. Colistin was active against most strains of P. aeruginosa (MIC90 4 mg/L), Shigella spp. (MIC90 0.5 mg/L), Salmonella spp. (MIC90 1 mg/L), Acinetobacter spp. (MIC90 2 mg/L), Citrobacter spp. (MIC90 1 mg/L), Escherichia coli (MIC90 1 mg/L), Klebsiella spp. (MIC90 8 mg/L) and Enterobacter spp. (MIC50 1 mg/L). No useful activity was demonstrated against Providentia spp. or Serratia spp. The results show that colistin remains a useful antimicrobial agent against Gram-negative bacteria, particularly those strains which are resistant to more commonly used antibiotics.