An enzyme linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA), was adapted to detect antibodies against Klebsiella pneumoniae in Aotus l. lemurinus monkeys. It was used to define the prevalence of infection and the immunogenicity of an Al(OH)3 bacterin in a population of laboratory born A. l. lemurinus monkeys. This represents a preliminary step to reduce K. pneumoniae produced mortality. A striking finding during a cross-sectional prevalence study was that none of the babies of less than 2 months old had detectable levels of antibody. The antibody prevalence gradually increased in all other age groups reaching 87.5% in the 8-10-month-old group. These results indicate that infection with K. pneumoniae occurred sometime between 2 and 6 months of age, probably as a result of oral-faecal contamination and a change in the feeding and grooming behaviour. To determine whether infants had maternal antibodies or if they were asymptomatic carriers of the bacterium, a cross-sectional study was done in 15 infants less than 4 months old and their mothers. K. pneumoniae antibodies were detected in 11/15 mothers with serum titers ranging from 1:4 to greater than 1:256 and the bacterium was isolated from 3 babies and one mother and her baby. Results showed that no maternal antibodies remained in babies older than 3 weeks old. A prospective study indicated a reduction in mortality from 20% for the previous 3 years to 3.7% (3/79) in AL(OH)3 K. pneumoniae bacterin vaccinated infants born during 1988-89.