The bactericidal activity of the endogenous antiseptic N-chlorotaurine (NCT) is significantly enhanced in the presence of ammonium chloride which induces the formation of monochloramine (NH(2)Cl) whose strong bactericidal activity is well known. In this study the properties of NCT plus ammonium chloride have been investigated. The reaction of active chlorine compounds like chloramine-T (N-chlorotoluene-sulfonamide sodium), chloroisocyanuric acid derivatives, hypochlorites (NaOCl, CaOCl(2)) with ammonium chloride did not stop at the stage of monochloramine, and the pungent smelling by-products di- and trichloramine, NHCl(2) and NCl(3), were also formed. This was not the case with NCT where only monochloramine was generated. The equilibrium constant of the reaction of NCT with ammonium was found to be [Formula: see text] , which allows to estimate the equilibrium concentration of monochloramine in aqueous solutions of NCT and ammonium chloride. At concentrations each ranging between 0.01% and 1.0% it comes to [NH(2)Cl]=3.5-254 ppm. As an unexpected result the monochloramine containing formulation turned out to be most stable in plain water without buffer additives. Quantitative killing assays revealed complete inactivation of 10(6) to 10(7)CFU/mL of seven bacterial strains by 0.1% NCT plus 0.1% ammonium chloride within 5 min, while with plain 0.1% NCT an incubation time of 2-4h was needed to achieve the same effect. The highly significant increase of bactericidal activity (200-300-fold) could be assigned to the presence of monochloramine which could be isolated by vacuum distillation. Aqueous solutions of NCT and ammonium chloride provide a highly effective and well tolerable antiseptic preparation appropriate to a treatment cycle of at least 1 month if stored in the refrigerator.