The vaccine potential of a combination of three pneumococcal virulence proteins was evaluated in an active-immunization-intraperitoneal-challenge model in BALB/c mice, using very high challenge doses of Streptococcus pneumoniae. The proteins evaluated were a genetic toxoid derivative of pneumolysin (PdB), pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA), and a 37-kDa metal- binding lipoprotein referred to as PsaA. Mice immunized with individual proteins or combinations thereof were challenged with high doses of virulent type 2 or type 4 pneumococci. The median survival times for mice immunized with combinations of proteins, particularly PdB and PspA, were significantly longer than those for mice immunized with any of the antigens alone. A similar effect was seen in a passive protection model. Thus, combinations of pneumococcal proteins may provide the best non-serotype-dependent protection against S. pneumoniae.