An IgM monoclonal antibody, designated mAb 1.G1, has been generated from spleen cells of mice immunized with irradiated Schistosoma mansoni cercariae. As determined by indirect immunofluorescence, mAb 1.G1 binds to the surface membrane of schistosomula and to the ciliated plates of miracidia. mAb 1.G1 also binds to the protonephridial systems of live adult worms and denuded, acetone-fixed schistosomula. Western blot analysis shows that the target epitope of this mAb is found on Nonidet P-40-solubilized schistosomular antigens ranging in molecular size from 85 to 130 kDa and ciliated plate antigens of miracidia at 92, 95, and 102 kDa. The recognized epitope in an 8 M urea adult worm extract is found on a 97-kDa molecule. In addition, mAb 1.G1 mediates a high level of complement-dependent cytotoxic activity against schistosomula when used in an in vitro assay. In passive immunization experiments, approximately 40% protection was provided mice when mAb 1.G1 was administered either at the time of challenge or when given 8 days postchallenge. However, when administered 15 days postchallenge, mAb 1.G1 failed to mediate passive protection. The ability of mAb 1.G1 to mediate protection in vivo correlates with its recognition of epitopes on the surfaces of live schistosomula up to 8 days but not at 15 days. Western blot analysis showed that the antigens were contained within Nonidet P-40 extracts of schistosomula during the same time period. Furthermore, a second monoclonal antibody (mAb 4.4B) derived from mice chronically infected with S. mansoni exhibits the identical properties as described for mAb 1.G1.