Cell-mediated immunity (CMI) may be important in immunity against blood-stage malaria. Accordingly, we examined the role of type 1 cytokines in the resolution of Plasmodium chabaudi adami malaria in mice genetically modified to have type 1 cytokine gene defects. Parasitemia was prolonged in double knockout (IL-2(-/-), IFNgamma(-/-)) mice compared to control mice. Despite deficiencies in gammadelta T cell and B cell subsets, these mice produced anti-malarial antibodies and eventually cured their infections, possibly by antibody-mediated immunity. However, because acute P. c. adami parasitemia may also be suppressed by CMI, the requirements for IL-2 and IFNgamma were evaluated in mice lacking B cells and functional IL-2 or IFNgamma genes. Acute malaria in J(H)(-/-), IL-2(-/-) mice was prolonged, but eventually cured. In contrast, J(H)(-/-), IFNgamma(-/-) mice developed unremitting parasitemia. These data strongly suggest that IFNgamma, but not IL-2, plays an essential role in the expression of CMI against P. c. adami infections. This finding may prove useful in developing malarial vaccines aimed at inducing CMI.