The antilipopolysaccharide antibody response in sera obtained from subjects involved in 10 outbreaks of shigellosis occurring in Israeli military field units was determined by an enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay and a passive hemagglutination test. Both tests were found to be sensitive and specific for the diagnosis of shigellosis. A significant antibody response was detected in 73 to 82% of the symptomatic and 48 to 60% of the asymptomatic subjects during the Shigella sonnei and Shigella flexneri outbreaks. Fifty percent of the symptomatic and none of the asymptomatic subjects showed a significant antibody response in the Shigella boydii outbreaks. An examination of the kinetics of the antibody levels over a 10-week period after the onset of disease revealed that immunoglobulin A (IgA) levels were highest 2 weeks after infection and had declined to initial levels within 2.5 months. In contrast, IgG levels at the late convalescent stage were half those measured at early convalescence, still being about twice as high as the initial titers. Although the IgM levels showed a pattern similar to that of IgA, their elevation at the early convalescent stage was less pronounced. We conclude that the detection of an increase in the level of the IgA fraction appeared to be the best indicator for recent symptomatic, as well as asymptomatic, infections due to Shigella organisms.