We developed a novel vaccine for Helicobacter pylori based on a poliovirus vector in which capsid genes were replaced with the gene for the B subunit of H. pylori urease (UreB). Mice were vaccinated with UreB or control (L1) replicon and challenged with H. pylori. Twenty percent of mice vaccinated prophylactically with UreB, but 80% vaccinated with L1, and then challenged with H. pylori became infected (P = 0.003). Seventy-three percent of mice with established H. pylori infection vaccinated therapeutically with UreB replicon cleared their infection compared to 33% vaccinated with L1 (P = 0.067). In therapeutically vaccinated mice with residual infection, UreB-vaccinated animals had fewer H. pylori than L1-vaccinated mice (P < 0.05). Anti-urease antibody titres in prophylactically, but not therapeutically, vaccinated mice were markedly higher in animals that received UreB versus L1 replicon (P = 0.01). Vaccination with poliovirus vector containing the gene for the B subunit of H. pylori urease provides significant prophylactic and strong therapeutic protection against H. pylori in mice. © 2004 Published by Elsevier Ltd.