The protective immune response to larval migration in pigs, with or without adult intestinal worm populations, 10 weeks after 3 weekly Ascaris suum inoculations, was studied in 45 pigs. Controlled adult worm populations were achieved by oral transfer of 10 adult worms to previously immunized pigs after anthelmintic drenching. A significant reduction in larval recovery from lungs on day 7, and small intestine on day 14, was observed in immunized pigs compared with previously uninfected control pigs after challenge inoculation. The strong anamnestic response to larval migration was characterized by blood eosinophilia and specific immune responses measured by peripheral blood enzyme-linked immunospot and immunosorbent assays using larval excretory-secretory products and adult body fluid as well as Western blotting with a panel of stage-specific A. suum antigens. Immune detection of a previously unreported 10 kDa band, specific to the L2 larval stage and egg hatch fluid, emerged in all pigs after challenge, while the major adult body fluid constituent, ABA-1, remained unrecognized. No significant effect of an intestinal adult worm burden on the larval recovery after a challenge inoculation or on the immune response before or after challenge inoculation could be detected. These results indicate that a significant protective memory immune response to A. suum challenge inoculation can be induced in pigs, and that this protective immunity is not significantly modulated by the presence of adult parasites in the gut.