Chronic respiratory disease in rats, resulting from Mycoplasma pulmonis infection, is useful in the study of the immunological mechanisms is similar inflammatory diseases and provides a unique opportunity to study the interactions between systemic and mucosal immunity systems in a naturally occurring infection. The present study examined the serum antibody responses to M. pulmonis in strains of rats which differ in disease progression and severity; LEW rats developed more severe disease than did F344 rats. Serum antibody responses were evaluated as to their levels, isotypes, and antigens recognized. Infected LEW rats produced greater or equal levels of the major classes of serum antibidy to M. pulmonis that did infected F344 rats, suggesting that development of serum antibody responses alone does not resolve lesions and is not responsible for the difference in disease severity found in LEW and F344 rats. Although LEW rats produced higher responses in all subclasses of immunoglobulin G (IgG), the specific IgG response of LEW rats was composed predominantly of IgG1 and IgG2a subclasses, while IgG2b was the major component of the IgG response in F344 rats. Finally, LEW rats responded more quickly to M. pulmonis antigens than did F344 rats, and there was no difference in the antigens eventually recognized by each strain, confirming previous work which suggested that LEW rats do not exhibit an unresponsiveness to a specific antigen(s) of M. pulmonis.