In this study the effect of cefepime on the phagocytosis and intracellular killing of Staphylococcus aureus by human polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMNL) was determined. The opsonophagocytic killing of S. aureus was synergistically enhanced by cefepime at concentrations below 0.5 times the minimal inhibitory concentration (MIC), and four times the MIC at higher concentrations. The effect of cefepime on phagocytosis and the bactericidal activity of PMNL was also investigated by the measurement of nitrite levels using a Sievers analyser. According to the nitrite levels, cefepime enhanced not only the phagocytosis by PMNL 2.1-fold in the 0.5 MIC and 2.8-fold in the four MIC values but also the bactericidal activity of neutrophils 2.5-fold in the 0.5 MIC and 2.8-fold in the four MIC values, respectively. The beneficial cefepime-leucocyte interaction may explain the efficacy of cefepime against intracellular pathogens.