The specificity of human antibodies for the two major sidechain determinants of the type II group B streptococcal (GBS) polysaccharide was examined in 90 pairs of maternal and cord sera. Using an ELISA system, total antibody was measured against the complete (sialylated) type II antigen and the proportion of antibody against the galactose determinant was estimated by inhibition with free β–methylgalactopyranosided. Mothers colonized by type II or by other GBS types had higher levels of total specific antibody (means, 33 and 4–7 µg/ml, respectively) than those not colonized (mean, 2–2 µg/ml). Cord sera averaged 1–2 µg/ml lower than maternal sera. Colonization with GBS was also associated with higher levels against the galactose determinant (mean, 1.5&µg/ml, compared to 0–7µg/ml for those not colonized). The distribution of specificities favoured antibodies against the sialic acid determinant in maternal but not cord sera. Specificity as well as antibody level may play a role in the epidemiology of GBS type II.