To determine the role of interleukin-5 (IL-5) and eosinophils in protection against Strongyloides ratti, mice treated with anti-IL-5 monoclonal antibody (mAb) were infected with S. ratti larvae. Strongyloides ratti egg numbers in faeces (EPG) in mAb treated mice were higher than those in control mice on days 6 and 7 after inoculation. The numbers of migrating worms in mAb treated mice 36 h after inoculation were higher than those observed in control mice. Intestinal worm numbers in mAb treated mice 5 days after inoculation were higher than those in control mice. These results show that eosinophils effectively protected the host against S. ratti infection by mainly the larval stage in primary infections. The involvement of eosinophils in protection against secondary infection was also examined. Before secondary infection, mice were treated with anti-IL-5 mAb and infected with S. ratti. Patent infections were not observed in either mAb treated or control Ab treated mice. The numbers of migrating worms in the head and lungs of mAb treated mice increased to 60% of that in primary infected mice. Intestinal worms were not found in mAb treated mice or in control mice after oral implantation of adult worms. Eosinophils were therefore mainly involved in protection against tissue migrating worms in secondary infections.