Opportunistic bacterial infections are the predominant cause of death following myelosuppressive radiation exposure. When used alone, a variety of immunomodulators and antibiotics have been reported to reduce radiation-induced death. In these studies, the combined therapeutic effects of the immunomodulator glucan and the quinolone antibiotic pefloxacin were evaluated for survival-enhancing effects in myelosuppressed C3H/HeN mice. Mice were exposed to 7.9 Gy of whole-body 60Co radiation and treated with saline, glucan (250 mg/kg of body weight intravenously, 1 h after irradiation), pefloxacin (64 mg/kg/day orally, days 3 to 24 after irradiation), or glucan plus pefloxacin. Survival 30 days after irradiation in mice receiving these respective treatments was 25, 48, 7, and 85%. Evaluation of granulocyte-macrophage progenitor cell (GM-CFC) recovery in mice receiving these treatments revealed that, compared with recovery in saline-treated mice, glucan stimulated GM-CFC recovery, pefloxacin suppressed GM-CFC recovery, and glucan administered in combination with pefloxacin could override pefloxacin's hemopoietic suppressive effect.