The in vitro activities of a new catechol-containing monobactam, BMS-180680 (SQ 84,100), were compared to those of aztreonam, ceftazidime, imipenem, piperacillin-tazobactam, ciprofloxacin, amikacin, and trimethoprim-sulfamethoxazole. BMS-180680 was often the most active compound against many species of the family Enterobacteriaceae, with MICs at which 90% of the isolates were inhibited (MIC90s) of < or = 0.5 microg/ml for Escherichia coli, Klebsiella spp., Citrobacter diversus, Enterobacter aerogenes, Serratia marcescens, Proteus spp., and Providencia spp. BMS-180680 had moderate activities (MIC90s of 2 to 8 microg/ml) against Citrobacter freundii, Morganella morganii, Shigella spp., and non-E. aerogenes Enterobacter spp. BMS-180680 was the only antibiotic evaluated that was active against >90% of the Pseudomonas aeruginosa (MIC90, 0.25 microg/ml), Burkholderia cepacia, and Stenotrophomonas maltophilia (MIC90s, 1 microg/ml) strains tested. BMS-180680 was inactive against most strains of Pseudomonas fluorescens, Pseudomonas stutzeri, Pseudomonas diminuta, and Burkholderia pickettii. BMS-180680 was moderately active (MIC90s of 4 to 8 microg/ml) against Alcaligenes spp. and Acinetobacter lwoffii and less active (MIC90, 16 microg/ml) against Acinetobacter calcoaceticus-Acinetobacter baumanii complex. BMS-180680 lacked activity against gram-positive bacteria and anaerobic bacteria. Both tonB and cir fiu double mutants of E. coli had greatly decreased susceptibility to BMS-180680. Of the TEM, PSE, and chromosomal-encoded beta-lactamases tested, only the K1 enzyme hydrolyzed BMS-180680 to any measurable extent. Like aztreonam, BMS-180680 bound preferentially to penicillin-binding protein 3. The MICs of BMS-180680 were not influenced by the presence of hematin or 5% sheep blood in the test medium or with incubation in an atmosphere containing 5% CO2. BMS-180680 MICs obtained under strict anaerobic conditions were significantly higher than those obtained in ambient air.