This paper examines how pneumococcal type 6B polysaccharide conjugated to tetanus toxoid (Pn6B-TT) compares to a 23 valent pneumococcal vaccine (pneumococcal polysaccharide (PPS)-23) with respect to immunogenicity and serum opsonic activity in patients with chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD). Patients with COPD aged 55-75 yrs were vaccinated with Pn6B-TT (n=10) or with PPS-23 (n=9). Healthy young adults (HA) were vaccinated with Pn6B-TT as controls. Total antibodies to serotype 6B polysaccharide were measured by radioimmunoassay and immunoglobulin (Ig)G antibodies by enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay. Opsonic activity was measured by a phagocytosis assay using human neutrophils as effector cells. The patient groups were comparable by age, smoking history, lung function and use of steroids. COPD patients vaccinated with Pn6B-TT or PPS-23 showed an increase in IgG antibodies and a nonsignificant increase in opsonic activity. This was similar to the increase in IgG and opsonic activity seen in HA. There was a significant correlation between antibody levels and opsonic activity in COPD patients vaccinated both with Pn6B-TT and PPS-23. Pneumococcal antibodies have been shown to confer protection from infection. The results of the present study indicate that protective immunity can be expected in elderly chronic obstructive pulmonary disease patients vaccinated with conjugate vaccines.