Monoclonal antibodies were raised against surface determinants of Streptococcus pneumoniae by hyperimmunizing X-linked immunodeficient (xid) CBA/N mice with the heat-killed rough strain R36A. 17 hybridomas produced antibody that bound intact R36A and did not cross-react with phosphocholine, an antigen common in the cell wall of all S. pneumoniae. The antibody produced by at least two of these hybridomas, Xi64 (IgM) and Xi126 (IgG2b), could protect mice from a lethal intravenous challenge of type 3 S. pneumoniae strains WU2 and A66 and of the type 2 strain D39. The minimum amount of antibody required to protect xid mice from 100 WU2 was 4.5 micrograms/mouse for Xi64 and 2.6 micrograms/mouse for Xi126,. Free phosphocholine, C-polysaccharide, and type 3 capsular polysaccharide all failed to inhibit the binding of Xi64 or Xi126 to R36A. These antibodies appeared to bind surface polypeptides, since treatment of R36A with either pepsin or trypsin, or of R36A lysate with trypsin, effectively eliminated the ability of Xi64 and Xi126 to bind antigens in these preparations. Binding studies indicated that these two antibodies recognized different epitopes that were expressed on several but not all serotypes of pneumococci.