Using the chequerboard technique we studied the in vitro activity of the broad spectrum antibiotic fosfomycin in combination with vancomycin, rifampicin, linezolid, quinupristin/ dalfopristin, cefazolin, meropenem and moxifloxacin against two Staphylococcus epidermidis strains (ATCC 12228, DSM 3269) and five Staphylococcus aureus isolates (ATCC 29213, DSM 683, DSM 46320, GISA 323/93, MRSA 3558/00). The phenomena of 'trailing' and 'skipped wells' did not present a problem. Synergy was the most common effect of all drugs tested in combination with fosfomycin; only combination with vancomycin showed antagonism for two of seven isolates. Using a killing-curve technique fosfomycin showed cidal activity, where increasing the drug concentration above the MIC did not enhance killing velocity. Inhibitory concentrations of vancomycin plus fosfomycin against DSM 46320 caused effects identical to those observed with vancomycin alone. The combination of fosfomycin plus linezolid exerted the bacteriostatic effect found with linezolid alone. Fosfomycin plus quinupristin/dalfopristin exhibited the bactericidal effect found with fosfomycin alone (in contrast to the rapidly bactericidal effect of quinupristin/dalfopristin). Electron microscopy showed that fosfomycin given in combination with linezolid, quinupristin/dalfopristin or moxifloxacin (substances that do not cause morphological alterations when given alone) resulted in 'cauliflower-shaped' distortion as caused by fosfomycin alone. Our in vitro data indicate considerable potential for fosfomycin used in combination with other antistaphylococcal antimicrobials, especially linezolid or quinupristin/dalfopristin.