In this study, recombinant human interleukin-6 (rIL-6) was tested for its ability to alter the resistance of mice to experimental Listeria monocytogenes infection. Single bolus or repeated injections of rIL-6 by itself did not increase antilisteria resistance. When rIL-6 was injected in combination with suboptimal concentrations of rIL-1 alpha and tumor necrosis factor alpha (rTNF-alpha), it did not augment their abilities to mediate protection in the spleen and had a marginal effect on the level of protection in the liver. Injection of rIL-6 together with protective doses of rIL-1 alpha did not diminish the protection stimulated by the latter. Unlike rIL-1 alpha and recombinant tumor necrosis factor alpha, rIL-6 appears to have little ability to elevate antibacterial resistance.