Concentrations of levofloxacin were measured in bronchial biopsies, alveolar macrophages (AM), epithelial lining fluid (ELF) and serum following a single oral dose. Concentrations were measured by a microbiological assay method. A total of 35 patients undergoing fibre-optic bronchoscopy were studied. Mean serum, AM, ELF and biopsy concentrations were as follows. 0.5 h: 4.73 mg/L, 19.1 mg/L, 4.74 mg/L and 4.3 mg/kg; 1 h: 6.6 mg/L, 32.5 mg/L, 10.8 mg/L and 8.3 mg/kg; 2 h: 4.9 mg/L, 41.9 mg/L, 9.0 mg/L and 6.5 mg/kg; 4 h: 4.1 mg/L, 27.7 mg/L, 10.9 mg/L and 6.0 mg/kg; and 6-8 h: 4.0 mg/L, 38.4 mg/L, 9.6 mg/L and 4.0 mg/kg respectively. Mean serum and AM concentrations at 12-24 h were 1.2 and 13.9 mg/L respectively (concentrations in biopsy and ELF were only measurable in three of the six patients). These concentrations exceed the MIC90s of the common respiratory pathogens, Haemophilus influenzae (0.015 mg/L), Moraxella catarrhalis (0.06 mg/L) and Streptococcus pneumoniae (1 mg/L) and suggest that levofloxacin should be efficacious in the treatment of community- and hospital-acquired respiratory infection.