Abstract The IgG antibody content, specificity, lytic activity, clearance capacity and protective ability of mouse anti- Trypanosoma cruzi serum was determined during the course of infection. The IgG antibody content increased during the course of infection, reaching its highest level in the serum collected in the chronic phase of the infection. The T. cruzi antigens recognized by antibodies using the protein transfer technique also increased with time of infection. Antibodies present in day 22 post-infection (p.i.) serum were already able to recognize all the antigens detected by antibodies present in serum from the chronic phase. The lytic and clearance ability were not detected on day 7 p.i., but appeared on day 14 p.i. and reached their highest level on day 45 p.i. The protective ability was present in serum of the chronic phase, but was absent from the acute serum. The IgG antibody content of the acute serum was four times less than that of the chronic serum. When the IgG antibody concentration of the acute serum was equalized to that of the chronic serum, the acute serum was as able to protect the infected animals as the chronic serum. It is suggested that the disagreement between the protective ability of anti- T. cruzi antisera collected in the acute or in the chronic phase of the infection is due to a quantitative rather than a qualitative difference.