Heterogeneous vancomycin-intermediate Staphylococcus aureus (hVISA) may account for treatment failure with vancomycin and act as a precursor of vancomycin-intermediate or -resistant S. aureus. The activity of vancomycin was assessed against vancomycinsusceptible, hVISA and VISA strains in a dilutional pharmacokinetic model. Over a 48 h period, total bacteria and cells with a vancomycin-intermediate phenotype were quantified. Total counts of hVISA were reduced by vancomycin in a similar way to a vancomycin-susceptible control. The vancomycin-intermediate sub-population was eradicated from the model within one dose interval. Exposure to low vancomycin concentrations did not result in an increase in the proportion of cells which were vancomycin intermediate. Short-term exposure of hVISA to vancomycin at gradient concentrations did not increase the proportion of cells with vancomycin-intermediate phenotype.