Alum-precipitated and soluble, purified M protein vaccines were prepared from type 3 and type 12 group A Streptococcus. Adult volunteers were assigned to one of three groups: group I received placebo by both parenteral and intranasal routes; group 2 received vaccine parenterally (either type 3 or type 12) and placebo intranasally; and group 3 received placebo parenterally and vaccine intranasally (either type 3 or type 12). Subjects were inoculated three times at montly intervals. Thirty to 50 days after the last dose, all subjects were challenged with homologous streptococci applied to the oropharynx. Six subjects (30%) vaccinated subcutaneously had definite illness, three (15%) had probable illness, and 11 (55%) had no illness. In the group vaccinated intranasally, four (14%) had definite illness, two (7%) had probable illness, and 22 (79%) had no illness. Fifteen controls (42%) had definite illness, and 21 (58%) had no illness. The rate of colonization was significantly lower in recipients of intranasal vaccine. Average clinical scores and vaccine side effects were also decreased in subjects vaccinated intranasally. Induced serum antibody as measured by passive hemagglutination was not a reliable predictor of resistance to streptococcal pharyngitis. Penicillin was administered to all subjects five days after challenge. No sequelae of streptococcal infection or other complications occurred. Thus, local immunization with M protein apparently may reduce both colonization and clinical illness after challenge with homologous streptococci.