Streptococcus pneumoniae is the leading cause of otitis media, sinusitis, and pneumonia. Many of these infections result from antecedent influenza virus infections. In this study we sought to determine whether the frequency and character of secondary pneumococcal infections differed depending on the strain of influenza virus that preceded bacterial challenge. In young ferrets infected with influenza virus and then challenged with pneumococcus, influenza viruses of any subtype increased bacterial colonization of the nasopharynx. Nine out of 10 ferrets infected with H3N2 subtype influenza A viruses developed either sinusitis or otitis media, while only 1 out of 11 ferrets infected with either an H1N1 influenza A virus or an influenza B virus did so. These data may partially explain why bacterial complication rates are higher during seasons when H3N2 viruses predominate. This animal model will be useful for further study of the mechanisms that underlie viral-bacterial synergism.