Study of the pathogenicity of encapsulated strains of the Streptococcus milleri group (SMG) was performed by examination of the ability to cause subcutaneous abscesses in mice and by phagocytosis and phagocytic killing of human polymorphonuclear neutrophils (PMNs) against the organisms. All 3 encapsulated isolates from patients with pneumonia or lung abscess induced abscesses in the mice; however, only 2 of 20 unencapsulated isolates from patients with lung abscess or thoracic empyema did so. The 3 encapsulated strains inhibited more phagocytosis and phagocytic killing of PMNs than the unencapsulated strains. In addition, encapsular material separated from Streptococcus constellatus RZYK001 also inhibited phagocytosis and phagocytic killing in proportion to increasing concentrations of the capsular material. These results suggest that capsular material produced by SMG might be a pathogenic factor.