Histamine release caused by anti-IgE was examined in leukocyte suspensions from 10 healthy individuals. Influenza A virus was found to enhance the histamine release but did not release histamine per se. When monoclonal antibodies directed against the viral neuraminidase were included in the samples, the potentiating effect of the virus was completely abolished. The same occurred using a neuraminidase inhibitor. However, monoclonal antibodies directed against the viral haemagglutinin also abolished the potentiation. A binding of virus to the basophil cell surface by haemagglutinin therefore seems to be necessary for the viral neuraminidase to cause potentiation of mediator release.