A library of cDNA clones expressing proteins of the asexual blood stages of a Papua New Guinean isolate of Plasmodium falciparum (isolate FCQ27/PNG (FC27] was constructed in the bacteriophage vector lambda gt11-Amp3. In an in situ colony immunoassay, human serum was used to identify colonies producing natural immunogens. Sera from donors of defined clinical status, or reactive to a defined subset of natural immunogens were used to identify clones of particular interest (for example, clones reacting with convalescent but not with acute serum or clones expressing the isolate specific S-antigen of FC27). Antisera raised by immunizing mice and rabbits with cloned antigens were used to characterize the P. falciparum proteins corresponding to the antigen-positive clones. Nucleotide sequence analysis of an antigen found on the surface of cells infected with ring stage parasites revealed an unusual sequence coding for eight, four and three amino acid repeats rich in acidic amino acids. The discussion centres on the use of cloned antigens as tools for the analysis of the host-protective immune response and selection of candidate vaccine molecules.