Changes in the surface antigenicity and susceptibility to in vitro killing during development of schistosomula of Schistosoma mansoni were studied using serum from chronically infected mice (CIS) and from mice vaccinated with highly irradiated (20 krad) cercariae (VS). Binding of these sera was quantitated by counting the number of P388D1 cells (a transformed, macrophage-like cell of mouse origin, bearing Fc receptors for IgG) binding to the parasite surface. Compared with schistosomula derived in vitro by mechanical transformation (MS), schistosomula recovered 3 hr after skin penetration in vitro (SS) showed a significant loss in surface binding of CIS. Schistosomula recovered 3 hr after skin penetration in vivo (SRS) showed even less binding, and this trend continued such that parasites recovered from the lungs 5 days after infection (LS) showed only minimal binding, and 10-day-old worms from the portal system showed no significant binding. In contrast, VS, which bound significantly less well to MS than CIS, showed enhanced binding to SS, and in the face of their declining antigenicity with respect to CIS, 3- to 24-hr SRS maintained this raised level of antigenicity. Although there appeared to be a decline in binding of VS thereafter, LS remained antigenic, still binding as many cells as MS did despite the fact that they also expressed host antigens detected using antisera raised against mouse RBC. In spite of this persistence of VS binding up to the lung stage, resistance to eosinophil-mediated killing in vitro had developed by 48 hr post-infection, and LS were totally resistant to both eosinophil- and C-mediated killing.