ELISAs using subclass-specific monoclonal antibodies were developed for the quantification of human IgG1, IgG2, IgG3 and IgG4 antibodies to Ps. aeruginosa. We investigated the pattern of IgG subclass antibodies against Ps. aeruginosa in serum from patients with cystic fibrosis (CF), other patients with chronic Ps. aeruginosa infection, and healthy controls. Healthy controls and patients with CF but without Ps. aeruginosa infection showed no or very low titres of antibodies against Ps. aeruginosa. In the early stage of chronic Ps. aeruginosa infection, antibody titres in all four subclasses were significantly higher than either normals or CF patients without infection. Other patients with Ps. aeruginosa infection showed the same increased level of IgG subclass antibodies as CF patients in an early stage of infection. Sixteen patients (eight in good and eight in poor clinical condition) have been followed for an average of 13 years with multiple serum samples covering the pre-infection, early and late stages of chronic infection. Patients in a poor clinical condition showed significantly higher levels of IgG3 antibodies in the first year of infection and 2 years later also had significantly higher IgG2 antibody levels. We conclude that elevated levels of IgG2 and IgG3 antibodies to Ps. aeruginosa are a sign of poor prognosis in CF.