A pool of five synthetic peptides was used as an antigenic base in an ELISA (ELISA-Pp) for laboratory diagnosis of Schistosoma mansoni. Serum samples were obtained from individuals with acute (n=23) and chronic (n=30) schistosomiasis, with other parasitoses (n=39) or without parasitic infections (n=100). ELISA-Pp was compared with other immunoenzymatic methods for detection of IgM (IgM-ELISA) or IgG (IgG-ELISA) as well as an immunofluorescence test for detection of IgM antibodies (IgM-IFT). The sensitivity and specificity of ELISA-Pp was 86.8% and 94.2% when tested on the schistosomiasis group and the non-schistosomiasis group, respectively. Comparison of ELISA-Pp with other serological methods resulted in kappa concordance indices varying from 0.59 to 0.75. Evaluation of anti-peptide IgG antibodies showed higher levels in patients with acute compared with chronic schistosomiasis (P=0.001). ELISA-Pp showed satisfactory sensitivity and high specificity and may constitute a potentially useful method for laboratory diagnosis of schistosomiasis mansoni.