Hydroxyapatite (HAp) coatings were applied using sol–gel method. Phosphor pentoxide and calcium nitrate were used as phosphorous and calcium precursors, respectively. Zinc nitrate and silver nitrate were used as substitute of calcium in HAp structure. As a base concentration, 1.5 wt %Ag and 2.5 wt %Zn were used. The weight percent of Ag was increased at 0.3 wt% and Zn content was scaled down at 0.5 wt%. Phase analysis and chemical bonds of synthesized materials were studied by XRD and FTIR. Antibacterial activity of Ag- and Zn-doped samples against methicilin-resistant Staphylococcus aureus (MRSA) were assessed by the plate-counting method. The XRD and FTIR results proved formation of HAp compound. Colony counting showed that silver and zinc ions prevent proliferation and growth of MRSA. Interestingly, co-presence of metal ions improves the antibacterial effectiveness of the coatings and the combined effect was greater than sum of the individual effects when each was administered alone. Overall, synergism between antibacterial activities of Zn2+ and Ag+ ions against MRSA can be suggested. Thus, cell toxicity decreases and biocompatibility increases without any decrement in antibacterial activity. © 2012 Wiley Periodicals, Inc. J Biomed Mater Res Part A: 101A:222–230, 2013.