In order to detect new immune-related genes in common carp (Cyprinus carpio L.) challenged by an ectoparasitic infection, two cDNA libraries were constructed from carp skin sampled at 3 and 72h after infection with Ichthyophthirius multifiliis. In a total of 3500 expressed sequence tags (ESTs) we identified 82 orthologues of genes of immune relevance previously described in other organisms. Of these, 61 have never been described before in C. carpio, thus shedding light on some key components of the defence mechanisms of this species. Among the newly described genes, full-length molecules of prostaglandin D2 synthase (PGDS), the CC chemokine molecule SCYA103, and a second gene for the carp β2-microglobulin (β2m), β2m-2, were described. Transcript amounts of the genes PGDS, interferon (IFN), SCYA103, complement factor 7 (C7), complement factor P (FP), complement factor D (FD) and β2m-2 were evaluated by real-time quantitative PCR (RQ-PCR). Samples from skin, blood and liver from fish challenged with I. multifiliis were taken at 3, 12, 24, 36 and 48h post infection. Higher expression levels of most of these transcripts were observed in skin from uninfected fish, compared to the transcript levels detected in blood and liver from the same animals. Also, there was significant down-regulation of the genes PGDS and β2m-2 in skin, whilst significant up-regulation was observed for the C7 and SCYA103 genes in liver of fish infected with the parasite. These results confirm the active role of fish skin in the immune response against infections, acting as an important site of expression of immune-related molecules.