Previous studies have shown that lipoteichoic acid (LTA) of group A streptococci plays a central role in the adherence of these organisms to epithelial cells. In this study, intranasal instillation of purified LTA but not deacylated LTA in mice blocked colonization and prevented death after intranasal challenge infection with group A streptococci. Bacteria pretreated with rabbit antisera against LTA also failed to colonize or infect mice after intranasal challenge. In vitro studies showed that LTA and M protein inhibited adherence of type 24 streptococci to mouse pharyngeal cells. Passive intranasal administration of purified type 24 M protein protected mice from death after challenge infection with type 24 streptococci but had no significant effect on pharyngeal colonization. Surface LTA and M protein may mediate adherence of streptococci to mouse pharyngeal cells, and blocking adherence with LTA prevents colonization and infection in this animal model.