Bacterial infections by antibiotic-resistant Staphylococcus aureus strains are among the most common postoperative complications in surgical hernia repair with synthetic mesh. Surface coating of medical devices/implants using antibacterial peptides and enzymes has recently emerged as a potentially effective method for preventing infections. The objective of this study was to evaluate the in vitro antimicrobial activity of hernia repair meshes coated by the antimicrobial enzyme lysostaphin at different initial concentrations. Lysostaphin was adsorbed on pieces of polypropylene (Ultrapro) mesh with binding yields of ∼10 to 40% at different coating concentrations of between 10 and 500 μg/ml. Leaching of enzyme from the surface of all the samples was studied in 2% (wt/vol) bovine serum albumin in phosphate-buffered saline buffer at 37°C, and it was found that less than 3% of adsorbed enzyme desorbed from the surface after 24 h of incubation. Studies of antibacterial activity against a cell suspension of S. aureus were performed using turbidity assay and demonstrated that the small amount of enzyme leaching from the mesh surface contributes to the lytic activity of the lysostaphin-coated samples. Colony counting data from the broth count (model for bacteria in wound fluid) and wash count (model for colonized bacteria) for the enzyme-coated samples showed significantly decreased numbers of CFU compared to uncoated samples (P < 0.05). A pilot in vivo study showed a dose-dependent efficacy of lysostaphin-coated meshes in a rat model of S. aureus infection. The antimicrobial activity of the lysostaphin-coated meshes suggests that such enzyme-leaching surfaces could be efficient at actively resisting initial bacterial adhesion and preventing subsequent colonization of hernia repair meshes.