Using two monoclonal antibodies which protect mice from a fatal challenge with S. pneumoniae, we have identified a surface protein antigen on the pneumococcus. These antibodies recognised components of 84 and 76 kD in a cell wall extract of the nonencapsulated strain, R36A, against which they were made. Absorption experiments indicated that both of the antibodies recognised the same two proteins. The proteins detected by the antibodies in the encapsulated type 2 strain D39 and type 3 strain WU2, exhibited different molecular weights than those proteins detected from R36A. Using a colony blot procedure and a quantitative ELISA, we have shown that these antibodies react with 6 of the 21 pneumococcal strains tested. There was no association between reactivity with these anti-protein antibodies and the capsular serotype of the pneumococcal isolates tested. © 1986.