Using purified human complement components, the participation of C5 in phagocytosis was investigated. The addition of C5 to EAC 1423 increased both rosette formation and phagocytosis of the intermediates by human polymorphonuclear leukocytes. The opsonizing activity of C5b was not affected after decay of its hemolytic activity. Both C3- and C5-dependent phagocytosis is abolished either in the presence of chelating agents or by pretreatment of the polymorphonuclear leukocytes with trypsin. The enhancing effect of C5b in phagocytosis can be reduced either by further reaction with C6 and C7 or with anti-C5 F(ab)2 fragments.