The tissue distribution of ampicillin entrapped in liposomes was studied in normal noninfected mice and showed that ampicillin concentrated mostly in the liver and spleen. Liposomate ampicillin was significantly more effective than free ampicillin in reducing splenic and hepatic bacterial counts in C57BL/Ka nude mice chronically infected with Listeria monocytogenes EGD. It was also significantly more effective than free ampicillin in reducing mortality in C57BL/6 mice acutely infected with Salmonella typhimurium C5. Comparison of the results with those previously obtained in the same experimental models with the same amounts of ampicillin bound to polyisohexylcyanoacrylate nanoparticles showed that liposomes were more effective than nanoparticles (M. Youssef, E. Fattal, M. J. Alonso, L. Roblot-Treupel, J. Sauzières, C. Tancrède, A. Omnès, P. Couvreur, and A. Andremont, Antimicrob. Agents Chemother. 32:1204-1207, 1988) in targeting ampicillin to the spleen but were less effective than nanoparticles in targeting ampicillin to the liver and reducing mortality in acute salmonellosis.