The prophylactic capacity of the RUTI® vaccine, based on fragmented cells of Mycobacterium tuberculosis, has been evaluated in respect to aerosol challenge with virulent bacilli. Subcutaneous vaccination significantly reduced viable bacterial counts in both lungs and spleens of C57Bl mice, when challenged 4 weeks after vaccination. RUTI® protected the spleen less than BCG. Following a 9 month vaccination-challenge interval, protection was observed for the lungs, but not for the spleen. Survival of infected guinea pigs was prolonged by vaccination given 5 weeks before challenge. Inoculations of RUTI® shortly after infection significantly reduced the viable bacterial counts in the lungs, when compared with infected control mice. Thus, vaccination by RUTI® has potential for both the prophylaxis and immunotherapy of tuberculosis. © 2011 Vilaplana et al.