Pulse dosing is a novel approach to dosing that produces escalating antibiotic levels early in the dosing interval followed by a prolonged dose-free period. Antibiotic is frontloaded by means of four sequential bolus injections, after which antibiotic levels are allowed to diminish until the next dose. This study compares standard thrice-daily dosing and pulse dosing of metronidazole against Bacteroides spp. in an in vitro model. Two American Type Culture Collection Bacteroides fragilis isolates (metronidazole MIC for each organism = 1 mg/liter) were exposed to metronidazole for 48 or 96 h. Human pharmacokinetics were simulated for an oral 500-mg dose given every 8 h (maximum concentration of drug [Cmax] = 12 mg/liter; half-life = 8 h; area under the curve [AUC] = 294 mg · h/liter) and for pulse dosing. Pulses, each producing an increase in metronidazole concentration of 9 mg/liter, were administered at times 0, 2, 4, and 6 h of each 24-h cycle, with a targeted half-life of 8 h (AUC = 347 mg · h/liter). A metronidazole-resistant B. fragilis strain (metronidazole MIC = 32 mg/liter) was exposed to both dosing regimens and, additionally, to a regimen of 1,500 mg administered once daily (Cmax = 36 mg/liter; AUC = 364 mg · h/liter). Furthermore, regimens against one B. fragilis isolate and one B. thetaiotaomicron isolate corresponding to one-fourth and one-eighth of the thrice-daily and pulse dosing regimens, mimicking peak metronidazole concentrations achieved in abscesses, were simulated in 48-h experiments (metronidazole MIC = 1 mg/liter). Time-kill curves were generated for each experiment and analyzed for bactericidal activity, defined as a bacterial burden reduction ≥ 3 log10 CFU/ml. The results of paired (Wilcoxon matched-pair signed-rank test) and nonpaired (Mann-Whitney test) statistical analyses conducted on time to 3 log10 kill data and area under the kill curve data from each of the thrice-daily dosing experiments versus each of the pulse dosing experiments were considered not significant for a given isolate-dosing regimen combination. The thrice-daily dosing, pulse dosing, and once-daily dosing regimens all exhibited bactericidal activity. Metronidazole administered in standard or pulse dosing fashion was highly active against both susceptible and resistant strains of Bacteroides spp.