Monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) were produced against two African arenaviruses, Lassa virus and Mopeia virus. Competitive binding analysis of MAbs identified four antigenic sites on the nucleoprotein (NP), two on glycoprotein 1 (GP1) and six on glycoprotein 2 (GP2) of the Josiah strain of Lassa virus. 64 virus isolates from western, central and southern Africa were all consistently distinguishable by MAbs to certain epitopic sites on GP1, GP2 and NP viral proteins. Furthermore, MAbs to Lassa virus GP1 and NP uniformly distinguished viruses from the West African countries of Sierra Leone, Liberia and Guinea from those of Nigeria. GP2-directed MAbs to two African arenaviruses reacted broadly with South American arenaviruses demonstrating that an epitopic site on GP2 may be the most highly conserved antigen in the arenavirus group.


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