Streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin C (SPE C) is a superantigen produced by many strains of Streptococcus pyogenes that (along with streptococcal pyrogenic exotoxin A) is highly associated with streptococcal toxic shock syndrome (STSS) and other invasive streptococcal diseases. Based on the three-dimensional structure of SPE C, solvent-exposed residues predicted to be important for binding to the TCR or the MHC class II molecule, or important for dimerization, were generated. Based on decreased mitogenic activity of various single-site mutants, the double-site mutant Y15A/N38D and the triple-site mutant Y15A/H35A/N38D were constructed and analyzed for superantigenicity, toxicity (lethality), immunogenicity, and the ability to protect against wild-type SPE C-induced STSS. The Y15A/N38D and Y15A/H35A/N38D mutants were nonmitogenic for rabbit splenocytes and human PBMCs and nonlethal in two rabbit models of STSS, yet both mutants were highly immunogenic. Animals vaccinated with the Y15A/N38D or Y15A/H35A/N38D toxoids were protected from challenge with wild-type SPE C. Collectively, these data indicate that the Y15A/N38D and Y15A/H35A/N38D mutants may be useful as toxoid vaccine candidates.