Mycoplasma synoviae causes respiratory tract disease in chickens characterised by mild to moderate lymphoplasmacytic infiltration of the tracheal mucosa. MS-H (Vaxsafe1 MS, Bioproperties Pty Ltd.) is an effective live attenuated vaccine for M. synoviae, but the immunological basis for its mechanism of protection has not been investigated, and the phenotypes of lymphocytes and associated cytokines involved in the local adaptive immune response have not been described previously. In this study, specific-pathogen-free chickens were inoculated intra-ocularly at 3 weeks of age with either M. synoviae vaccine strain MS-H or vaccine parent strain 86079/7NS (7NS), or remained uninoculated. At 2-, 7- and 21 days post-inoculation (dpi), tracheal mucosal pathology, infiltrating lymphocytes subsets and transcription levels of mRNA encoding 8 cytokines were assessed using light microscopy, indirect immunofluorescent staining and RT-qPCR, respectively. After inoculation, tracheal mucosal thickness, tracheal mucosal lesions, and numbers of infiltrating CD4+CD25- cells, B-cells, and macrophages were greater in MS-H- and 7NS-inoculated chickens compared with non-inoculated. Inoculation with 7NS induced up-regulation of IFN-γ, while vaccination with MS-H induced up-regulation of IL-17A, when compared with non-inoculated birds. Both inoculated groups had a moderate infiltrate of CD4+CD25+ T cells in the tracheal mucosa. These findings reveal that the tracheal local cellular response after MS-H inoculation is dominated by a Th-17 response, while that of 7NS-inoculated chickens is dominated by a Th-1 type response.