To study the reactogenicity and immunogenicity of a hexavalent meningococcal outer-membrane-vesicle vaccine (OMV), two different dosages of this vaccine (7.5 and 15 microg of individual PorA proteins) consisting of vesicles expressing class 1 outer-membrane proteins (OMPs) of subtypes P1.7,16; P1.5,2; P1.19,15 and P1.5(c), 10; P1.12,13; P1.7(h),4 were administered to a group of 7-8 year (n=165) and a group of 2-3 year old children (n=172). Control groups of children with similar ages were vaccinated against hepatitis B. All participants received three injections. Pre- and postimmunisation sera were tested for bactericidal antibodies against six isogenic meningococcal vaccine strains expressing different PorA proteins. Antibody titres against OMP of the two different vesicles (PL16215 and PL10124) were measured by ELISA. The meningococcal hexavalent OMV vaccine was well tolerated. No statistically significant differences were seen between the high and low dose of hexavalent meningococcal OMV vaccine. The percentage of children showing a fourfold increase of bactericidal antibody titres against the specific serosubtype varied in toddlers from 28 to 98% and in older children from 16 to 100%. Both ELISA antibody titres and bactericidal activity showed the highest level in the youngest age-group.