The effect of a live Mycoplasma gallisepticum vaccine on the horizontal transmission of this Mycoplasma species was quantified in an experimental animal transmission model in specific pathogen free White Layers. Two identical trials were performed, each consisting of two experimental groups and one control group. The experimental groups each consisted of 20 birds 21 weeks of age, which were housed following a pair-wise design. One group was vaccinated twice with a commercially available live attenuated M. gallisepticum vaccine, while the other group was not vaccinated. Each pair of the experimental group consisted of a challenged chicken (104 colony-forming units intratracheally) and a susceptible in-contact bird. The control group consisted of 10 twice-vaccinated birds housed in pairs and five individually housed non-vaccinated birds. The infection was monitored by serology, culture and quantitative polymerase chain reaction. The vaccine strain and the challenge strain were distinguished by a specific polymerase chain reaction and by random amplified polymorphic DNA analysis. In both experiments, all non-vaccinated challenged chickens and their in-contact 'partners' became infected with M. gallisepticum. In the vaccinated challenged and corresponding in-contact birds, a total of 19 and 13 chickens, respectively, became infected with M. gallisepticum. Analysis of the M. gallisepticum shedding patterns showed a significant effect of vaccination on the shedding levels of the vaccinated in-contact chickens. Moreover, the Cox Proportional Hazard analysis indicated that the rate of M. gallisepticum transmission from challenged to in-contact birds in the vaccinated group was 0.356 times that of the non-vaccinated group. In addition, the overall estimate of R (the average number of secondary cases infected by one typical infectious case) of the vaccinated group (R = 4.3, 95% confidence interval = 1.6 to 49.9) was significantly lower than that of the non-vaccinated group (R = , 95% confidence interval = 9.9 to ). However, the overall estimate of R in the vaccinated group still exceeded 1, which indicates that the effect of the vaccination on the horizontal transmission M. gallisepticum is insufficient to stop its spread under these experimental conditions.