Vancomycin and a new antibiotic, daptomycin (LY146032), were tested in vitro and in vivo against Staphylococcus aureus. In vivo tests were performed with rabbits with kaolin-induced hydrocephalus. Five groups of rabbits were studied: untreated ventriculitis, intraventricular vancomycin only, and ventriculitis treated with intraventricular vancomycin (30 μg or 120 μg) or daptomycin (7.5 μg). Results of this study were as follows. (i) S. aureus demonstrated static growth in cerebrospinal fluid in vitro and in ventriculitis at a maximum titer of 105 to 106 CFU/ml. (ii) In vitro time kill curves in cerebrospinal fluid matched those in vivo. (iii) Single-dose intraventricular vancomycin did not lower S. aureus concentrations over 8 h, whereas daptomycin did. (iv) Ventriculitis did not significantly alter the clearance of intraventricular vancomycin . (v) Intraventricular half-lives were approximately 2.8 h (maximum) for vancomycin and 4.5 h for daptomycin. (vi) Vancomycin was detectable in the periventricular white matter only in the presence of ventriculitis. Daptomycin was also detectable in the periventricular white matter of rabbits with ventriculitis, but in amounts too small to quantitate. We concluded that daptomycin achieved greater bactericidal activity, more rapid killing kinetics, and a longer half-life in the ventricle than vancomycin did in this model.