Background Wide use of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin has often led to increased resistance. The resistance rate to these two agents varies in different clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae. Mutations of GyrA within the quinolone resistance-determining regions have been found to be the main mechanism for quinolone resistance in Enterobacteriaceae. It has been shown that only some of the mutations in the gyrA gene identified from clinical sources were involved in fluoroquinolone resistance. Whether different patterns of gyrA mutation are related to antimicrobial resistance against ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin is unclear. Methods The minimum inhibitory concentration (MIC) of ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin were determined by the agar dilution method followed by PCR amplification and sequencing of the quinolone resistance determining region of gyrA to identify all the mutation types. The correlation between fluoroquinolone resistance and the individual mutation type was analyzed. Results Resistance differences between ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin were found in 327 isolates of K. pneumoniae and E. coli in Harbin, China and in the isolates reported in PubMed publications. GyrA mutations were found in both susceptible and resistant isolates. For the isolates with QRDR mutations, the resistance rates to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin were also statistically different. Among the 14 patterns of alterations, two single mutations (Ser83Tyr and Ser83Ile), and three double mutations (Ser83Leu+Asp87Asn, Ser83Leu+Asp87Tyr and Ser83Phe+Asp87Asn) were associated with both ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin resistance. Two single mutations (Ser83Phe and Ser83Leu) were related with ciprofloxacin resistance but not to levofloxacin. Resistance difference between ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin in isolates harboring mutation Ser83Leu+Asp87Asn were of statistical significance among all Enterobacteriaceae (P<0.001). Conclusions Resistance rate to ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin were statistically different among clinical isolates of Enterobacteriaceae harboring GyrA mutations. Ser83Leu+Asp87Asn may account for the antimicrobial resistance difference between ciprofloxacin and levofloxacin.