A rapid (6-7 hr), modified Kirby-Bauer disk-susceptibility method, by which derivatives of tetrazolium dyes are used to enhance delineation between areas of growth and zones of inhibition, has been developed. Inoculated petri plates, prepared by the Kirby-Bauer method, were sprayed, after 6 to 7 hr of incubation (37 C), with aqueous solutions of MTT-tetrazolium or INT-tetrazolium resulting in readily detectable zones of inhibition. Excellent correlation was obtained between the modified test and the standard Kirby-Bauer test when challenged with a variety of gram-negative bacteria and Staphylococcus aureus strains. Additionally, the modified test has demonstrated reproducibility comparable to the standard Kirby-Bauer test. It is demonstrated that the modified test is applicable to susceptibility determinations with representative, commercially available antimicrobial disks. This applicability indicates that the modified method could provide rapid in vitro guidelines for in vivo therapy.