The present study examined whether neutrophil recruitment in dog airways by Staphylococcus aureus is mediated by interleukin-8 (IL-8). S. aureus culture supernatant was superfused into an isolated tracheal segment in six dogs, and neutrophil recruitment and IL-8 concentrations were measured in the superfusate. Dog IL-8 was cloned, expressed in Escherichia coli, purified by chromatography, and shown to be biologically active. With the use of an enzyme-linked immunoabsorbent assay (ELISA) for the measurement of dog IL-8, we showed that S. aureus supernatant induced neutrophil recruitment and increased IL-8 concentration in the superfusate in a time-dependent manner. The chemotactic activity present in the superfusate 6 h after superfusion with S. aureus was inhibited by an anti-IL-8 antibody. S. aureus supernatant also stimulated IL-8 production and gene expression by cultured canine tracheal epithelial cells. These results provide evidence that IL-8 plays a major role in S. aureus-induced neutrophil recruitment in the airways by stimulating IL-8 production in airway cells.