The impact of an infection with the acanthocephalan Moniliformis moniliformis and a simultaneous Cd-exposure on the stress hormone levels of rats was studied. Immediately after the application of cadmium to some rats, cortisol levels in all groups of rats, as quantified by radioimmunoassay (RIA), significantly increased. However, infections with M. moniliformis as well as the uptake of Cd reduced significantly the cortisol release compared to untreated controls. While catecholamine concentrations, as determined by high-performance liquid chromatography (HPLC), showed no clear tendency during the experimental period, the ratio of Cadrenaline/Cnoradrenaline in the controls showed the significantly lowest value of all four groups after killing the animals. Thus, the acanthocephalan infection as well as the Cd-exposure and the combination of both treatments affect hormone homeostasis in the rats which probably lead to negative effects on the health of the rat. Therefore parasite infections must be carefully considered in environmental impact studies, as an important factor affecting the host's health.