In previous studies, we have shown that intact, heat-killed, gram-negative bacteria (GNB) and gram-positive bacteria (GPB) can stimulate the production of various proinflammatory and anti-inflammatory cytokines. The objective of the present study was to investigate whether the production of tumor necrosis factor alpha (TNF) and interleukin-10 (IL-10) by human monocytes stimulated by intact heat-killed or live Haemophilus influenzae or Streptococcus pneumoniae is mediated by CD14. Two anti-CD14 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were used to study the interaction between human monocytes and bacteria; lipopolysaccharide (LPS) was used to validate the effect of anti-CD14 MAb. MAb 18E12 decreased significantly TNF and IL-10 production upon stimulation with LPS or heat-killed bacteria and TNF production during stimulation by live bacteria. MAb My-4 decreased production of TNF and IL-10 by monocytes stimulated with LPS, IL-10 but not TNF production upon stimulation with heat-killed H. influenzae, and production of neither TNF nor IL-10 upon stimulation with S. pneumoniae. Together, these results led to the conclusion that CD14 is involved in the recognition and stimulation of human monocytes by intact GNB and GPB. Consequentially, the option for adjunctive treatment of severe infections with anti-CD14 MAb is postulated.