CD64, the high-affinity receptor in the family of FC gamma receptors, is not expressed constitutively in polymorphonuclear leucocytes (PMN). CD64 is expressed by PMNs in the late stages of human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) infection in adults. We followed the expression of CD64 on PMNs in perinatally HIV-infected children during disease progression. Peripheral blood leucocytes (PBL) from 45 perinatally HIV-infected paediatric patients and 13 healthy age-matched controls were analysed using cytofluorimetry after reaction with a fluorophore-labelled monoclonal antibody (MoAb) to CD64. In parallel, we examined the expression of CD32, CD16, CD11b and the human neutrophil-specific BH2-Ag using fluorophore-labelled MoAbs. We found that up to 79.5% of the PMNs in children in class C3 express CD64. Most importantly, we observed a continuous and significant increase in the appearance of CD64(+) PMNs as a function of CDC classification (P < 0.001) but no changes in the expression of CD32, CD16, CD11b and BH2-Ag. This suggests that following the expression of CD64 on PMNs can be useful in evaluating the progression of HIV infection in perinatally HIV-infected children.