Currently there is no licensed vaccine against the human pathogen Streptococcus pyogenes. The highly conserved IL-8 cleaving S. pyogenes cell envelope proteinase SpyCEP is surface expressed and is a potential vaccine candidate. A recombinant N-terminal part of SpyCEP (CEP) was expressed and purified. AntiCEP antibodies were found to neutralize the IL-8 cleaving activity of SpyCEP. CEP-immunized mice had reduced bacterial dissemination from focal S. pyogenes intramuscular infection and intranasal infection. We also identified a functional SpyCEP-homolog protease SeCEP, expressed by the equine pathogen Streptococcus equi, which was able to cleave both human and equine IL-8. CEP-immunized mice also demonstrated reduced bacterial dissemination from S. equi intramuscular infection. Therefore immunization against SpyCEP may provide protection against other streptococci species with homologous proteases.