Rats were immunized through an initial infection with 1,000 filariform larvae (L3) of Nippostrongylus brasiliensis and after complete expulsion of worms they were challenged with 1,000 L3 of Strongyloides venezuelensis to investigate whether cross-resistance developed against a heterologous parasite. Nippostrongylus brasiliensis-immunized rats developed a partial cross-resistance against S. venezuelensis migrating larvae (MSL3) in the lungs and adult worms in the small intestine. The population of MSL3 in the lungs were significantly lower (P < 0.05) in immunized rats (22.0 +/- 7.4) compared with controls (105.0 +/- 27.6). The populations of adult worms, egg output and fecundity were initially decreased but from day 14 post-challenge they did not show any significant difference between immunized and control rats. However, the length of worm in immunized rat was revealed as retardation. Peripheral blood eosinophilia was significantly decreased (P < 0.05) on day 7 post-challenge and then gradually increased, which peaked on day 42 post-challenge when most of the worms were expelled. These results suggest that peripheral blood eosinophilia is strongly involved in the worm establishment and expulsion mechanisms.