Conjugates of an uronic acid-containing capsular polysaccharide (CP), pneumococcous type 12F (Pn12F) bound to diphtheria toxoid (DT), were studied for safety and immunogenicity in adult volunteers. In mice, these conjugates, prepared with the same lot of DT and Pn12F-40234-006, a homogenous CP of high molecular weight, or Pn12-812408, a polydisperse CP with lower-molecular-weight material, were more immunogenic than the Pn12F alone and had T-cell dependent properties (A. Fattom, W.F. Vann, S.C. Szu, A. Sutton, X. Li, B. Bryla, G. Schiffman, J.B. Robbins, and R. Schneerson, Infect. Immun. 56: 2292-2298, 1988). Adult volunteers, randomized into three groups, were injected either with one of these two conjugates or with Pnu-Imune, the 23 valent pneumococcus vaccine containing 25 μg of Pn12F as one of its components. Volunteers were injected two times, 4 weeks apart, with the Pn12F-DT conjugates and once with the Pnu-Imune. Side reactions following injection of the conjugates of Pnu-Imune were mild and short-lived. At 4 weeks and at 7 months after the first injection, higher levels of Pn12F antibodies were found in the volunteers injected with the conjugates than in the Pnu-Imune group (P < 0.001). The conjugate prepared with the higher-molecular-weight Pn12F elicited higher levels of antibodies than the conjugate prepared with a lower-molecular-weight Pn12F preparation (P = 0.05). Both conjugates elicited about a 13-fold rise in DT antibodies.