Protective immunity to the subperiodic human filariid, Brugia malayi, was explored in the rodent host, Mastomys coucha after vaccination with subcellular fractions derived from the adult stage of the parasite. The highest level of protection was conferred in animals vaccinated with the ‘mitochondria rich’ (MT) fraction, in which microfilaraemia and worm burden were markedly reduced by 67.2 and 65.9%, respectively, followed by the ‘nucleus rich’ (NR) fraction, showing reductions of 62 and 52.3%, respectively, over the non-immunized control group. Mastomys vaccinated with MT and NR, displayed a significant increase in the level of antigen-specific serum immunoglobulin G (IgG). The levels of IgG2a, IgG2b and IgM antibody isotypes were remarkably elevated in both the MT and NR immunized groups, while IgG1 and IgG3 levels were low. Apart from antibodies, both these fractions also led to marked antigen-specific lymphoproliferation in vitro, along with enhanced release of nitric oxide by peritoneal macrophages. There was an increased population of CD4+ and CD8a+T-cells in MT immunized animals, as measured by flow cytometry, accompanied by elevated levels of proinflammatory cytokines; interferon gamma (IFN-γ), tumour necrosis factor alpha (TNF-α) and interleukin-1 beta (IL-1β) in the culture supernatants of the activated splenocytes. The results suggest that both NR and MT contain proinflammatory molecules which evoke a protective Th1 type of immune response.