The kinetics of antibody response to intraperitoneal infection of mice with third stage larvae of Anisakis simplex was investigated by ELISA. Maximum antibody response to excretion-secretion (ES) antigens was reached before maximum response to somatic (SA) antigens. Total immunoglobulin (Ig) production (consisting mainly of IgM and IgG1 isotypes) was very similar in both cases. Immunoblotting was used to characterize the antigens recognized by the host in the presence or absence of the metabolic products released by the parasite in vivo. Sera from mice infected with live larvae (anti-L3 L serum) and immunized with dead larvae (anti-L3 D serum) recognized a similar pattern of bands in immunoblots of ES and SA antigen preparations. In the latter, however, three bands at 14, 17 and 18 kD were only recognized by the anti-L3 L serum. A possible explanation is that these low molecular weight antigens are ES products released only in vivo. Finally, the immune response in mouse was compared using ELISA and immunoblotting with the response of a human anisakiasis reference serum, and was found to display considerable similarities. This suggests that the mouse may be a useful model for studying the immunobiology of A. simplex in man.