Three groups of three pigs were vaccinated either with vaccine VAC-SLY, containing purified suilysin derived from Streptococcus suis strain P1/7 (serotype 2), or with vaccine VAC-SCF, containing most of the other extracellular antigens produced by strain P1/7 (but essentially free from suilysin), or with a placebo vaccine. The pigs were vaccinated twice at four weeks and six weeks of age and were challenged intravenously with S suis strain P1/7 at eight weeks of age. On the day of challenge, only the VAC-SLY vaccinated pigs showed an increase in haemolysin neutralisation titre. After challenge the placebo vaccinated pigs developed severe clinical signs characterised by lameness involving several joints, a depressed appearance, high temperatures and/or neurological signs. The VAC-SCF vaccinated pigs showed the same clinical signs but less severely. The VAC-SLY vaccinated pigs were the least affected and showed only mild signs which subsided more quickly than those of the other groups. A post mortem investigation and histology of brain tissue samples confirmed the clinical findings; fibrinous arthritis was less severe and less frequently observed in the VAC-SLY vaccinated pigs than in the VAC-SCF or placebo vaccinated pigs, and none of the VAC-SLY vaccinated pigs had meningitis whereas two of the VAC-SCF and two of the placebo vaccinated pigs did so. All the samples of brain, lung and tarsus taken from the VAC-SLY vaccinated pigs were sterile whereas S suis was reisolated from most of these tissues from the other groups.