The Mongolian jird is used widely in filariasis research for studies of protective immunity, pathogenesis, and therapy. The purpose of this study was to evaluate parasite antigen detection as a means of noninvasively monitoring Brugia pahangi infection in jirds. A parasite antigen with M, of 105-110 kDa was identified in sera from i.p.- and s.c.-infected jirds by immunoblot with a monoclonal antibody to phosphoryl-choline. The same antibody was used in a direct sandwich enzyme immunoassay to measure antigen in jird sera. Parasite antigen was detectable as early as 2 wk after i.p. or s.c. injection of L3. Antigen titers increased between 2 and 12 wk and stabilized between 12 and 36 wk after infection in s.c.-infected animals. A different pattern was seen in i.p.-infected jirds with antigen titers peaking at 16 wk and falling significantly between 16 and 32 wk after infection. Parasite antigen titers correlated significantly with adult worm infection intensities in jirds with mature i.p. and s.c. infections. Antigenemia was also detectable in sera from jirds after i.p. implantation of adult parasites of either sex. However, antigen was not detected in sera from infant offspring of antigenemic infected mothers. We conclude that parasite antigen detection allows B. pahangi development and survival as well as infection intensity to be monitored in living animals with unprecedented sensitivity and accuracy. This technique should facilitate drug and vaccine studies in this important experimental filariasis model.