Effectiveness of 2 pentavalent leptospiral vaccines containing Leptospira interrogans serovar hardjo was evaluated for protection of steers from infection with serovar hardjo type hardjo-bovis. The hardjo component of 1 vaccine was prepared from serovar hardjo type hardjoprajitno. The hardjo component of the other vaccine was prepared from serovar hardjo type hardjo-bovis. Two steers were vaccinated once and 4 steers were vaccinated twice with the pentavalent vaccine containing type hardjoprajitno. Four steers were vaccinated once and 4 steers were vaccinated twice with the pentavalent vaccine containing type hardjo-bovis. Four steers were maintained as non-vaccinated controls. Steers given vaccine containing type hardjo-bovis developed higher mean serum microscopic agglutination titers against serovar hardjo than steers given vaccine containing hardjoprajitno. Six months after the first vaccination, all steers were challenge-exposed on 3 occasions by conjunctival instillation of 10(7) serovar hardjo type hardjo-bovis organisms, and on 1 occasion by conjunctival instillation of urine from a steer shedding hardjo-bovis. All control and all vaccinated steers became infected and shed serovar hardjo type hardjo-bovis in the urine. Lesions were detected in kidneys of 3 of 4 nonvaccinated control steers, 5 of 6 steers given hardjoprajitno vaccine, and 6 of 8 steers given hardjo-bovis vaccine. Leptospires were detected in kidneys of 4 of 4 control steers and 13 of 14 vaccinated steers.