The in vitro inhibitory activity of a nitrofurazone-coated urinary catheter (NFC) against 86 recently obtained susceptible and multidrug- resistant (MDR) clinical isolates of Escherichia coli, Klebsiella pneumoniae, Citrobacter freundii, Staphylococcus aureus, coagulase-negative staphylococci, and Enterococcus faecium, which are species implicated in catheter-associated urinary tract infection and which traditionally have been susceptible to nitrofuran derivatives, was determined using an agar diffusion assay. In a subset of these strains, the activity of the NFC was compared with that of a silver hydrogel urinary catheter (SHC), and the durability of each catheter's inhibitory activity was assessed during serial daily transfers of catheter segments to fresh culture plates. Except for vancomycin-resistant E. faecium, the NFC was active against all isolates tested and showed comparable inhibition zones with susceptible and MDR strains of each species. In contrast, the SHC inhibited only certain staphylococci (P < 0.01 versus the NFC), and among these strains, the SHC produced smaller inhibition zones than did the NFC (P < 0.01). Inhibition was evident for up to 5 days with the NFC, but for only 1 day (if at all) with the SHC (P < 0.01). These data document that, for most genera which traditionally have been susceptible to nitrofuran derivatives, the NFC remains active against contemporary MDR isolates. They also demonstrate that the in vitro antibacterial activity of the NFC is markedly superior to that of the SHC in several respects. Thus, the NFC shows promise for clinical use in the current era of MDR bacteria.