Copper(II), nickel(II), platinum(II) and palladium(II) complexes with 2-hydroxy-1-naphthaldehyde-N-methylpropanesulfonylhydrazone (nafpsmh) derived from propanesulfonic acid-1 -methylhydrazide (psmh) were synthesized, their structure were identified, and antimicrobial activity of the compounds was screened against three Gram-positive and three Gram-negative bacteria. The results of antimicrobial studies indicate that Pt(II) and Pd(II) complexes showed the most activity against all bacteria. The crystal structure of 2-hydroxy-1-naphthaldehyde-N-methylpropanesulfonylhydrazone (nafpsmh) was also investigated by X-ray analysis. A series of Ni(II) sulfonyl hydrazone complexes (1-33) was synthesized and tested in vitro against Escherichia coli and Staphylococcus aureus. Their antimicrobial activities were used in the QSAR analysis. Four-parameter QSAR models revealed that nucleophilic reaction index for Ni and O atoms, and HOMO-LUMO energy gap play key roles in the antimicrobial activity. (c) 2013 Elsevier B.V. All rights reserved.