Studies were performed to determine whether active immunity against murine rotavirus (EDIM) infection of mice correlated with titers of neutralizing antibody to the challenge virus. Neonatal mice administered either murine or heterologous rotaviruses all developed diarrhea and high titers of serum rotavirus IgG. However, only mice given EDIM, the murine EB, or simian SA11-FEM strains were protected against EDIM infection when challenged 60 days later. Other serotype 3 strains (RRV, SA11-SEM), as well as strains belonging to serotypes 5 and 6 (OSU, NCDV, WC3), were not protective. Serum neutralizing antibody titers to EDIM were almost undetectable after rotavirus infection with any strain and could not, therefore, be correlated with protection. Likewise, intestinal neutralizing antibody titers were extremely low 21 days after EDIM infection, and by 60 days after inoculation, EDIM-infected mice had no greater intestinal neutralizing antibody titers than uninoculated controls. Mice inoculated with SA11-FEM as neonates had much higher serum rotavirus IgG responses than mice inoculated as adults, and only those infected with this virus as neonates were protected. Thus, although immunity to EDIM did not correlate with the presence of neutralizing antibody to EDIM, it did correlate with the overall magnitude of the immune response after inoculation with SA11-FEM.