A method based on cold ethyl alcohol fractionation at different pH levels and ionic strengths and on gel filtration on a Sephadex G-200 column was used to concentrate and purify lysozyme from the culture supernatant fluid of Staphylococcus aureus strain 524. The final, nondialyzable product exhibited a 163-fold rise in specific activity over that of the starting material. Staphylococcal lysozyme is a glycosidase which splits N-acetylamino sugars from the susceptible substrate. Staphylococcal lysozyme was shown to be similar to egg white lysozyme in its optimal temperature for reaction, optimal pH, activation by NaCl and Ca(++) ions, inhibition by sodium citrate and ethylenediaminetetraacetate, and inactivation by Cu(++) ions and sodium dodecyl sulfate. It differs from the egg white lysozyme in its temperature susceptibility range (staphylococcal lysozyme is inactivated at 56 C). It acts on whole cells and cell walls of Micrococcus lysodeikticus, murein from S. aureus 524, and cell walls of S. epidermidis Zak. The last substrate was not susceptible to the action of egg white lysozyme in the test system used. The mechanism of action of staphylococcal lysozyme seems to be analogous to that of egg white lysozyme; however, the biological specificity of the two enzymes may be different.