The efficacy of two commercially available Escherichia coli J5 bacterins was investigated. Jersey cows were randomly assigned to one of three treatment groups: 1) unvaccinated controls, 2) vaccinated with J.VAC (Merial Limited, Athens, GA), and 3) vaccinated with J5 bacterin. All cows were vaccinated at drying off and at 2 wk before anticipated calving. Cows that were vaccinated with the J5 bacterin also received a third immunization at calving. One quarter of each cow was challenged with approximately 64 cfu of E. coli at 14 to 30 d postcalving. Immunization by either vaccine did not influence the severity of coliform mastitis; however, the mean number of colony-forming units of E. coli recovered from challenged quarters was significantly lower for immunized cows than for control cows at 144 h postchallenge. Serum and mammary secretion immunoglobulin (Ig)G, IgG1, and IgG2 titers against E. coli J5 whole-cell antigens were enhanced in vaccinated cows. Serum and mammary secretion IgM were not different among treatment groups. Somatic cell counts in milk from challenged quarters, rectal temperatures, and the clinical status of cows following intramammary challenge were not different among treatment groups.