Currently Staphylococcus aureus is the predominant pathogen isolated from the respiratory tract of patients with recurrent tonsillitis. Because of an increase in multi-drug resistant strains of S. aureus, there is a pressing need for effective treatments and preventive approaches to reduce the risk of invasive and life-threatening infections. A preventive vaccine against S. aureus would have a tremendous clinical impact. However, multiple clinical trials have failed to identify an agent that can induce protective responses. Most trials have been based on subunit vaccines using one or a few purified antigens, which may not be enough to confer protection. Here, the impact of a whole-cell vaccine comprised of heat-inactivated S. aureus was investigated in patients with RT. The vaccine was well tolerated and had no significant local or systemic reactions. Immunization with heat-inactivated S. aureus elicited a significant antibody response characterized by production of IgG1 and IgG2 antibodies and, to a lesser extent, of IgA antibodies. Notably, this response was associated with an important decrease in the incidence of tonsillitis and bacterial colonization of the oropharyngeal mucosa. Our results show that whole-cell inactivated S. aureus is safe and capable of evoking specific antibody responses in patients with recurrent tonsillitis.