The isotype-specific antibody responses of sheep immunised with keyhole limpet hemocyanin by a peripheral route (intramuscular (i.m.) injection) were compared to those induced by immunisation via different mucosal routes: (1) intra-nasal spray; (2) rectal deposition with cholera toxin; (3) injection into the mucosa of the small intestine or rectum. Antigen-specific IgG1 antibodies were induced in the i.m., intra-intestinal and intra-rectal injection groups and in a proportion of the cholera toxin immunised sheep, but not in the intra-nasal immunisation group. IgA was the only antibody isotype detected in serum collected from the intra-nasal immunisation group. No significant differences in serum IgA levels were detected in any of the mucosal immunisation groups as compared to the i.m. injection group. In contrast, analysis of the in vitro antibody profiles secreted by circulating antibody-secreting cells (ASC) revealed significantly higher IgA responses in the supernatants from all mucosal immunisation groups. This suggests that the measurement of antibodies secreted by circulating ASCs may be a better correlate of local mucosal responses in ruminants, as has been previously demonstrated in human studies. In addition to IgG1 and IgA responses, immunisation by direct injection of antigen formulations into the intestinal and rectal mucosa were the only groups to induce consistently high IgG2 antibodies in serum and ASC cultures.