The importance of internal and external parasites in limiting productivity and compromising the welfare of sheep has provided the impetus for extensive research on ovine IgE with the objectives of better understanding protective immunological responses and developing novel methods of control; particularly vaccination. The molecular structures of ovine IgE and its high affinity receptor have been determined and the former information has assisted the development of monoclonal antibodies (mAb) to ovine IgE by 2 of 3 groups who have produced these reagents. The availability of these mAbs has enabled the description of IgE responses following infections with a wide variety of parasites in sheep and in an ovine model of atopic asthma. While IgE responses are consistently associated with parasitic diseases of sheep, it has not been proven that this antibody isotype is involved in protection. The foundation of present knowledge and reagents, together with new emerging technologies, should allow the role of IgE in parasitic diseases of sheep to be determined.