Guinea pigs were vaccinated orogastrically with Helicobacter pylori cell sonicate (CS) and 10 microg or 100 microg cholera toxin (CT) or CT only. Nai;ve animals were used as a control. In both experiments, vaccination primed the local IgG and IgA response, irrespective of the CT dose. After challenge, only the group of animals immunised with CS and 100 microg CT had a significantly lower number of H. pylori in the antral region of the stomach, but vaccination did not prevent H. pylori infection. This protective effect was not associated with a switch in IgG subclass, which remained predominantly IgG2. The levels of specific antibodies in serum and the gastric mucosa which were similar to naive unprotected animals. In conclusion, the ability of mucosal adjuvants such as CT to induce a protective immune response may be host dependent and findings in the Helicobacter-mouse model should be interpreted with caution.