New vaccines against biodefense-related and emerging pathogens are being prepared for licensure using the US Federal Drug Administration's "Animal Rule." This allows licensure of drugs and vaccines using protection data generated in animal models. A new acellular plague vaccine composed of two separate recombinant proteins (rF1 and rV) has been developed and assessed for immunogenicity in humans. Using serum obtained from human volunteers immunised with various doses of this vaccine and from immunised cynomolgus macaques, we assessed the pharmacokinetic properties of human and cynomolgus macaque IgG in BALB/c and the NIH Swiss derived Hsd:NIHS mice, respectively. Using human and cynomolgus macaque serum with known ELISA antibody titres against both vaccine components, we have shown that passive immunisation of human and nonhuman primate serum provides a reproducible delay in median time to death in mice exposed to a lethal aerosol of plague. In addition, we have shown that Hsd:NIHS mice are a better model for humoral passive transfer studies than BALB/c mice.