Abstract Oral immunization is attractive as a delivery route because it is needle-free and useful for rapid mass vaccination programs to target pandemics or bioterrorism. This potential has not been realized for human vaccination, due to the requirement of large antigen doses and toxic (to humans) adjuvants to overcome the induction of oral tolerance and potential degradation of antigens in the stomach. To date, only oral vaccines based on live attenuated organisms have been approved for human use. In this study we describe the use of a lipid-based delivery system/adjuvant, Lipid C, for oral immunization to protect mice against genital tract chlamydial infection. Lipid C is formulated from food-grade purified and fractionated triglycerides. Bacterial shedding following vaginal challenge with Chlamydia muridarum was reduced by 50% in female mice orally immunized with the chlamydial major outer membrane protein (MOMP) formulated in Lipid C, protection equivalent to that seen in animals immunized with MOMP admixed with both cholera toxin (CT) and CpG oligodeoxynucleotides (CpG-ODN). Protection was further enhanced when MOMP, CT and CpG were all combined in the Lipid C matrix. Protection correlated with production of gamma interferon (IFN) by splenic T cells, a serum MOMP-specific IgG response and low but detectable levels of MOMP-specific IgA in vaginal lavage.