Cathepsin L proteinases (CL1 and CL2), the major components of Fasciola hepatica excretion/secretion products (E/S) are considered potential antigens of a vaccine against fascioliasis. The humoral response elicited by CL1 and CL2 in rats either immunized with the enzymes or infected with F. hepatica has been analysed, examining specific IgE and IgG subclass dynamics. The experiment was continued for 10 weeks and peripheral blood eosinophilia was also determined. Infected rats presented peaks of eosinophilia at weeks 3 and 7 post-infection, while those immunized with CL1 and CL2 were no different from controls. Total IgE in infected rats increased up to week 5, reaching 30 μg -1 in some cases, then decreased slowly and rising again towards the end of the experiment. Determination of specific IgE, carried out in sera previously absorbed with Protein G-Sepharose, reached a peak in infected rats between weeks 2 and 5, depending on the individual. In immunized rats both total and specific IgE levels remained around the pre-immunization values. With regard to the IgG subclass responses to E/S products, in infected rats IgG1 predominated over IgG2a, and the reverse was true in rats immunized with CL1 and CL2 and tested against the respective antigens. In all cases an increase in IgG1 and IgG2a antibody titres was seen, with maximum levels being reached later (weeks 6–7) in infected rats than in immunized ones (weeks 4–5). No IgG2b or IgG2c responses were detected in any of the groups studied.