The infectivity and distribution of Echinostoma trivolvis were studied in male, conventional and congenitally athymic nude mice, each infected with 30 metacercarial cysts. In conventional mice, worm recoveries at 6 and 8 days post-exposure were58·3 and 54·0%, respectively. Worm recovery declined to 44·0% by day 10, to 4·3% by day 13, and 0% by day 17. In athymic mice, worm recoveries at 6 and 8 days post-exposure were 61·7 and 36·3%, respectively. Worm recovery declined to 27·7% by day 10, to 0·7% by day 13, and 0% by day 17. The distribution of worms demonstrated a posteriad migration over time in both groups. Kinetic changes in the number of goblet and mucosal mast cells in the upper ileum of mice infected with E. trivolvis were examined. In conventional mice, the number of goblet cells increased rapidly to reach a peak at day 13 and then declined gradually. The number of goblet cells in athymic mice also increased to reach a peak at day 13, and then declined rapidly. However, the number of goblet cells in athymic mice was always less than that inconventional mice. The mast cell number in infected conventional mice increased rapidly to reach a peak at day 17 and then declined. There was no increase in the mast cell number of infected athymic mice throughout the experiment. Whereas common pathological changes occurred in the intestines of both mice groups infected with echinostomes some ultrastructural differences were observed in the gut epithelial cells of conventional versus athymic mice.