A two-phase study was initiated to delineate the peripheral blood lymphocyte populations present in owl monkeys and to correlate those populations with immune response and parasitism during malaria infection. The goal of phase I of the study was to elucidate a monoclonal antibody panel that could be used to characterize peripheral blood mononuclear cell (PBMC) populations with flow cytometric techniques. Forty-two monoclonal antibodies (reported to be reactive with human and macaque lymphocyte antigens) were screened for activity to owl monkey PBMC. Eleven monoclonals were found to react: anti-H42A (MHC Class II DP-like); anti-TH14B (MHC Class II DR-like); and anti-TH81A5 (MHC Class II DQ-like); anti-H58A (MHC Class I); anti-DH59B (granulocyte and monocyte); anti-B1 (B cell); anti-T4 (CD4); anti-Leu3a (CD4); anti-Leu11a (CD16); anti-60.3 (CD18); and anti-OKM1 (NK and monocyte). In a preliminary retrospective study correlating antibody titers, parasitemia values, and MHC Class I and Class II marker profiles on PBMC to test antigens used in malaria vaccine trials, a significant negative association was observed between cells bearing MHC Class II molecules and the other elements of the comparison. In summary, an appropriate panel of monoclonal antibodies has been identified for characterizing PBMC in owl monkeys, and preliminary studies indicate a possible association between clinical outcome and expressed phenotypic PBMC markers.