The kinetics of human eosinophil activation and granule secretion initiated by interaction with Trypanosoma cruzi amastigotes was studied by using a monoclonal IgG1 antibody (termed EG2) that is specific for an epitope present only in the secreted forms of both eosinophil cationic protein (ECP) and the eosinophil protein X (EP-X), and hence not detectable in unstimulated resting eosinophils. Studies were carried out by using electron microscopy and indirect immunofluorescence. In the electron microscopy studies, deposits of protein A-gold particles in parasite-containing eosinophils that had been incubated previously with EG2 antibody were first detected 4 hr after initiation of the eosinophil-amastigote interaction. Control tests performed with a monoclonal IgG1 unreactive with eosinophils showed no deposition of protein A-gold particles. EG2 antibody binding was confined to the crystalloid granule matrix, where ECP and EP-X are known to be stored. A similar kinetic pattern of ECP/EP-X solubilization and secretion was confirmed by the results of the indirect immunofluorescence experiments also showing the binding of EG2 antibody after 4 hr of cell-parasite interaction. The kinetics of ECP/EP-X solubilization and secretion paralleled the kinetics of destruction of internalized amastigotes, suggesting a role for these basic proteins in parasite killing. Consistent with this notion was the detection of ECP/EP-X in the fluid of phagocytic vacuoles containing amastigotes and associated with the ingested organisms at the same time as the parasites began to show structural alterations. These results outlined the kinetics of eosinophil activation in terms of the time required for mobilization of two basic proteins associated with eosinophil secretion that are known to be biologically active.