Eighteen triathletes were studied before and immediately after competing in an ultradistance triathlon. Their mean plasma lipopolysaccharide (LPS) concentrations increased from 0.081 to 0.294 ng/ml (P less than 0.001), and their mean plasma anti-LPS immunoglobulin G (IgG) concentrations decreased from 67.63 to 38.99 micrograms/ml (P less than 0.001). Both pretriathlon plasma LPS and anti-LPS IgG levels were directly related to the intensity of training (P less than 0.02 and P less than 0.01, respectively). It is possible that training-induced stress led to some leakage of LPS into the circulation, which, in turn, resulted in self-immunization against LPS. The effects on athletic performance in relation to exercise-induced changes in plasma LPS and anti-LPS IgG levels require further investigation.