We evaluated the presence and persistence of anticysticercal antibodies in piglets born to Taenia solium infected sows. Infected sows from a disease-endemic area of Peru were transported to a nondisease-endemic area and impregnated. Serum samples were collected from sows and piglets on Day 2 through Week 35 after birth. Using an immunoblot specific for cysticercosis, Ig isotypes to 7 cyst antigens were measured and quantified. Serum samples from the piglets contained detectable antibodies from Week 1 through Week 35 (27 weeks after weaning). The primary Ig isotype present in both sows and piglets was IgG. Antibodies did not appear in piglet serum samples until after suckling, demonstrating that anti-cysticercal antibodies are transferred solely via colostrum. Our data have shown that maternally transferred antibodies to cyst antigens may persist through much of a pig's life. Therefore, the presence of passively transferred antibodies must be considered in studies that examine the prevalence of cysticercosis in pigs. Furthermore, when designing control strategies for cysticercosis, careful evaluation and selection of sentinel pigs becomes a crucial component of sentinel selection. Copyright (C) 1999 Elsevier Science B.V.