The effects of iron deficiency on immunity remain controversial. This study was designed to assess the impact of iron supplementation on the immune status, in 81 children aged 6 months-3 years, at high risk for iron deficiency, using a longitudinal double blind randomised and placebo-controlled study. Lymphocytes of iron-deficient children produced less interleukin-2 in vitro. Iron supplementation for 2 months increased mean corpuscular volume, serum ferritin and serum transferrin, but had no effect on the parameters of T-cell mediated immunity. The lower interleukin-2 levels in iron-deficient suggest that cell-mediated immunity may be impaired in iron deficiency.