These studies have identified a major genetic lineage of capsule serotype 12F Streptococcus pneumoniae, which has maintained two different types of the pneumococcal surface protein A (PspA) virulence factor and caused invasive disease in geographically disjoint locations. Twenty outbreak strains from a Texas jail and Maryland day care center and 16 reference strains from Texas, Maryland, Washington, Michigan, Oklahoma, Missouri, Alaska, and Australia were examined. Although the Texas and Maryland outbreak strains were indistinguishable by IS1167 and boxA genotyping procedures, all strains examined were members of a genetically similar lineage. The microevolutionary history of pspA differed from that of the overall genetic background of the strains. Taken together, these findings suggested that the Texas and Maryland outbreaks were caused by different clones of a major genetic lineage of serotype 12F pneumococci, within which at least one PspA has been acquired via localized genetic recombination.