The distribution of total and antigen-specific IgA1 and IgA2 antibodies in human colostrum was determined by ELISA using subclass-specific monoclonal reagents. In 18 samples of colostrum the mean ratio of total IgA1 to IgA2 was found to be 53:47, respectively, but significant individual variations were observed. In two samples we found unusually low levels of IgA1, while IgA2 was in the normal range. IgA1 and IgA2 antibody activities were determined against the following antigens: bovine γ-globulin and β-lactoglobulin, tetanus toxoid, protein antigen I/II of Streptococcus mutans, influenza virus vaccine, polysaccharides of pneumococcal, meningococcal and Haemophilus influenzae type b origin, and lipopolysaccharide (LPS) from Escherichia coli K235. The IgA antibody activity directed against the polysaccharides was almost equally distributed between the two subclasses. However, antibody activity specific for protein antigens was found predominantly in the IgA1 subclass while anti-LPS activity was mostly of the IgA2 subclass.