Human tonsils are suspected to be an antibiotic-impervious human reservoir for group A streptococcus. An intranasal infection model in mice and a bioluminescent-tagged strain were used to investigate this possibility. Viable streptococci were predominantly found both intra- and extracellularly in nasal-associated lymphoid tissue (NALT), a human tonsil homologue. Ulex europaeus-1, a membranous (M) cell-specific lectin, identified cells harboring streptococci at the epithelial surface of NALT and blocked bacterial colonization of this tissue. These results suggest that M cells in NALT transport this Gram-positive pathogen across the epithelial layers in a manner similar to those in Peyer's patches, which permit enteric pathogens to invade deeper tissues from the gastrointestinal tract.