Two strains of Trypanosoma cruzi (Y and CL) were used to study the specificity and role of anti-T. cruzi clearance antibodies. Clearance antibodies were only induced after immunization with living blood-stream trypomastigotes (Btrys) but not with dead parasites. Btrys of either strain were readily cleared from the circulation after passive immunization with anti-Y or anti-CL serum provided that the homologous strain was used. CL or Y Btrys sensitized in vitro with the homologous or heterologous antiserum and transferred to normal mice were cleared from the circulation only when the homologous antiserum was used. Clearance antibodies were removed from serum by absorption with the homologous but not with the heterologous strain. Clearance antibodies were removed from serum by absorption with living Btrys but not with fixed parasites. These results suggest that: a) the parasite epitopes involved in the clearance are peculiar to each strain, b) the clearance antibodies are specific to these epitopes, and c) a proper conformation of the parasite antigens is required for the induction and effector activity of the clearance antibodies.