The extract of Ascaris suum suppresses the humoral and cellular immune responses to unrelated antigens in the mouse. In order to further characterize the suppressive components of A. suum, we produced specific monoclonal antibodies which can provide an important tool for the identification of these proteins. The A. suum immunosuppressive fractions isolated by gel filtration from an extract of adult worms were used to immunize BALB/c mice. Popliteal lymph node cells taken from the immunized animals were fused with SP2/O myeloma cells and the cloned hybrid cells obtained were screened to determine the specificity of secreted antibodies. Three monoclonal antibodies named MAIP-1, MAIP-2 and MAIP-3 were selected and were shown to react with different epitopes of high molecular weight proteins from the A. suum extract. All antibody molecules have kappa-type light chains but differ in heavy chain isotype. MAIP-1 is a mouse IgM, MAIP-2 is an IgA immunoglobulin and MAIP-3 is an IgG1 immunoglobulin and they recognize the antigen with affinity constants of 1.3 x 10(10) M-1, 7.1 x 10(9) M-1 and 3.8 x 10(7) M-1, respectively. The proteins recognized by these monoclonal antibodies (PAS-1, PAS-2 and PAS-3) were purified from the crude extract by affinity chromatography and injected with ovalbumin in BALB/c mice in order to determine their suppressive activity on heterologous antibody production. It was demonstrated that these three proteins are able to significantly suppress anti-ovalbumin antibody secretion, with PAS-1 being more efficient than the others.