PspA is an antigenically variable virulence factor of Streptococcus pneumoniae that inhibits complement deposition and is a potential candidate for human vaccines. Of 64 published strains 96% are in PspA families 1 and 2; optimal protection is family-specific. Effective development of a PspA-containing vaccine requires more information about the PspA family of strains in parts of the world where the vaccine is most needed. In these studies we observed that of 149 isolates (of 19 capsular types) from Argentina, 54.4% were family 1, 41.6% were family 2 and 4.0% expressed both family 1 and family 2 PspAs. Box typing revealed the Argentinian strains to be from at least 10 clonally related groups. © 2003 Cambridge University Press.