Some novel Schiff base metal complexes of Cu(II), Co(II), Ni(II) and Fe(II) derived from 2-amino-3-hydroxypyridine and 4-nitrobenzaldehyde were synthesized. These compounds were characterized by elemental analysis, molar conductance, magnetic susceptibility, thermal measurements, infrared and ultraviolet–visible spectra. The Schiff base and metal complexes displayed good activity (against the bacteria, Escherichia coli, Serratia marcescence and Microccus luteus, and the fungi Aspergillus flavus, Getrichm candidum and Fusarium oxysporum). The DNA interaction of these complexes was tested by using gel electrophoresis and viscosity measurements. The experimental results indicated that the investigated complexes could bind to DNA via intercalative mode and showed a different DNA binding activity according to the sequence: ahpnbFe > ahpnbCu> ahpnbNi> ahpnbCo.