Genetic influences upon host variation in eosinophilia and resistance to helminth infection, and the relationship between these parameters, were investigated in 7 inbred and 1 hybrid strains of mice infected with Trichinella spiralis. Clear strain-dependent variations were observed in the maximum peripheral blood, bone marrow and spleen eosinophilia attained in infected animals. SWR, NIH and SJL strains of mice all gave high responses to infection; four congenic strains sharing the B10 background (C57BL10 [B10], B10.S, B10.G and B10.BR) were low responders. Some of the genes for high responsiveness appeared to be dominant, as F1 hybrids from high- and low-response phenotype parental strains showed intermediate to high responses to infection. Intestinal eosinophilia showed no correlation with either peripheral blood or bone marrow responses (NIH and B10 strains having similar levels of eosinophil response in gut tissue) and was unrelated to the level of resistance to infection. Whereas NIH were highly resistant, with adult worm burdens at 13 days post-infection and muscle larval burdens at 35 days post-infection significantly lower than all other strains, B10 were quite susceptible, retaining substantial worm burdens at day 13 and harbouring large numbers of muscle larvae. Measurements of the level of the eosinophilopoietic cytokine IL-5 in sera during infection showed that the two strains differed in the kinetics of release but not in their absolute capacity to produce this cytokine. NIH mice released high levels during a primary infection, B10 released high levels during a secondary infection. The relationship between eosinophilia and resistance and the differences seen between responses in different body compartments are discussed in terms of genetically determined influences operating at the levels of T helper cell populations, T cell cytokines and bone-marrow precursor cell populations.