Background: Staphylococcus aureus is a non-motile, gram positive, non-sporforming, facultative anaerobic microorganism. It is one of the important bacteria as a potential pathogen specifically for nosocomial infections. The sulfonamide derivative medicines are preferred to cure infection caused by S. aureus due to methicillin resistance. Methods: Antimicrobial activity of four sulfonamide derivatives have been investigated against 50 clinical isolates of S. aureus and tested by using MIC and disc diffusion methods. 50 clinical isolate which collected from specimens of patients who are given medical treatment in Ondokuz Mayis University Medical School Hospital. A control strain of S. aureus ATCC 29213 was also tested. Results: The strongest inhibition was observed in the cases of I [N-(2-hydroxy-4-nitro-phenyl)-4-methyl-benzensulfonamid], and II [N-(2-hydroxy-5-nitro-phenyl)-4-methyl-benzensulfonamid] against S. aureus. Compound I [N-(2-hydroxy-4-nitro-phenyl)-4-methyl- benzensulfonamid] showed higher effect on 21 S. aureus MRSAisolates than oxacillin antibiotic. Introducing an electron withdrawing on the ring increased the antimicrobial activity remarkably. Conclusion: This study may help to suggest an alternative possible leading compound for development of new antimicrobial agents against MRSA and MSSA resistant S. aureus. It was also shown here that that clinical isolates of 50 S. aureus have various resistance patterns against to four sulfonamide derivatives. It may also be emphasized here that in vitro antimicrobial susceptibility testing results for S. aureus need standardization with further studies and it should also have a correlation with in vivo therapeutic response experiments. © 2008 GENÇ et al; licensee BioMed Central Ltd.