The relationship between antigens associated with the surface of newly transformed schistosomula of Schistosoma mansoni and the tegumental surface membrane of adult S. mansoni worms has been further explored. Immunoprecipitation of detergent-solubilized 125I-tegumental surface membrane antigens of adult S. mansoni with antibodies from mice vaccinated with highly irradiated S. mansoni cercariae revealed major antigens of Mr 32, 20, 15 and 8K. The Mr 32 and 20K antigens have been previously demonstrated to be antigenically and electrophoretically identical to major antigens on the schistosomulum surface. The Mr 15 and 8K antigens, on the other hand, have not been identified by the immunoprecipitation of 125I-schistosomulum surface antigens, although a distinct schistosomulum surface antigen of Mr 15K is precipitated by antibodies from mice vaccinated with highly irradiated cercariae. Nevertheless, it was shown that antibodies to the Mr 15 and 8K antigens were specifically absorbed from vaccinated mouse serum by intact, live schistosomula, demonstrating that the Mr 15 and 8K antigens are exposed on or released from the schistosomulum surface. In contrast, absorption of the antiserum with eggs failed to remove antibody against any of the four tegumental membrane antigens examined. The Mr 15 and 8K antigens were shown to be recognized via polypeptide epitopes and not periodate-sensitive carbohydrate epitopes, further emphasizing the similarity of these to the well-characterized Mr 32 and 20K tegumental surface membrane antigens. A general relationship between schistosomulum surface, adult tegumental membrane and egg antigens was demonstrated by ELISA, using antibodies raised against the three antigenic fractions. It was shown that both the egg and adult tegumental membrane antigens cross-react with the schistosomulum surface, but that the egg and adult membrane antigens exhibit very little, if any, mutual cross-reactivity. This antigen divergence possibly enables the host to dissociate pathological, anti-egg responses from potentially protective anti-membrane responses during the course of natural infection. It also suggests that adult membrane antigens could be used in an anti-schistosome vaccine without the possible complication of inducing pathological responses.