Passive transfer of frambesial immune serum is capable of conferring complete protection on hamsters against challenge with Treponema pallidum ssp. pertenue. Treponemicidal activity in the pooled immune serum is relatively high. Immune serum and its immunoglobulin fractions, especially IgG2, also killed T. pallidum ssp. pertenue in vitro. Treponemicidal activity was present only when immune serum was administered to hamsters within a short time (three days) of frambesial challenge. By contrast, administration of pooled immune serum to hamsters infected for more than one week failed to reduce the number and size of lesions and the weight and number of treponemes in the lymph nodes. These results suggest that hamsters can develop the humoral components necessary to protect them against frambesial challenge, but these components are unable to destroy treponemes at the primary foci of infection.