Local immune reactivity in the lungs of BALB/c mice was studied following (i) intranasal (i.n.) vaccination with Mycobacterium bovis BCG, (ii) intravenous (i.v.) challenge with a virulent M. bovis field isolate and (iii) i.n. vaccination with M. bovis BCG followed by i.v. challenge with an M. bovis field isolate. The results demonstrated that i.n. vaccination with BCG induced a high degree of protection against systemic M. bovis challenge, and that this protection correlated with a rapid production of IFN-gamma after M. bovis challenge by lung T cells from vaccinated mice.