The fluorescent antibody (FA) technique was used to detect the presence of malarial antibody in populations living in 3 different ecological areas of Malaysia. Serum samples were tested using Plasmodium falciparum, P. vivax, P. malariae and P. fieldi antigens. An area of hyperendemic malaria had a good correlation between the antibody responses and active parasitaemias. The percentage and intensity of responses increased with the age of the individuals. In an area of hypoendemic malaria, each of 17 sites had ecological conditions which would favour or discourage the transmission of malaria. The reasons for high FA responses in some villages and low responses in others were readily apparent. The effect of even limited control programmes on the malarial ecology could be measured by an examination of the antibody responses. An aboriginal population receiving suppressive drugs had FA responses indicating both past experience and the effect of the drug programme.