To evaluate the efficacy of a recombinant Moraxella bovis pilin-M. bovis cytotoxin subunit vaccine to prevent naturally occurring infectious bovine keratoconjunctivitis (IBK; pinkeye), a randomized, blinded, controlled field trial was conducted during summer 2005 in a northern California herd of beef cattle. One hundred and one steers were vaccinated with ISCOM matrix (adjuvant control), recombinant M. bovis cytotoxin carboxy terminus+ISCOM matrix (MbxA), or recombinant M. bovis pilin-cytotoxin carboxy terminus+ISCOM matrix (pilin-MbxA); calves received secondary vaccinations 21 days later. Calves were examined once weekly for 18 weeks for the development of corneal ulcers associated with IBK. Overall, the pilin-MbxA vaccinated group had the lowest overall cumulative proportion of ulcerated calves. Calves that received MbxA, whether alone or with pilin had significantly higher M. bovis cytotoxin serum neutralizing titers as compared to control calves. Results of ocular cultures suggested that vaccination with an M. bovis antigen affected organism type isolated from an ulcer: M. bovis was cultured more often from the eyes of control calves than from the eyes of calves vaccinated with MbxA and pilin-MbxA. In addition, vaccination of calves with MbxA and pilin-MbxA resulted in a higher prevalence of Moraxella bovoculi sp. nov. in ocular cultures. While no significant difference was observed between a cytotoxin versus pilin+cytotoxin vaccine against IBK, the reduced cumulative proportion of IBK in the pilin-cytotoxin vaccinated calves suggests it may provide an advantage over a cytotoxin vaccine alone. Efficacy of an M. bovis vaccine may be reduced in herds where IBK is associated with M. bovoculi sp. nov.