Chemical and enzymic cleavages of the F subunit of the fusion (F) protein of respiratory syncytial (RS) virus showed that the sequence 184-Gly to 314-Trp reacted with neutralizing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs). Twelve synthetic peptides covering a part of this sequence were analysed for their immunoreactivity with neutralizing MAbs and anti-RS virus rabbit serum. Two sequential antigenic domains corresponding to amino acids 200 to 225 and 255 to 278 were defined with anti-RS virus rabbit serum. The peptides 205–225 and 259–278, belonging to these antigenic domains, inhibited binding to the F protein and the neutralizing activity of the anti-RS virus rabbit serum. One MAb (RS-348) reacted with peptides containing amino acids 200 to 225. Moreover, the peptide 205–225 induced an anti-peptide rabbit serum neutralizing RS virus . These results indicate that the sequence from residues 200 to 225 was present in one of the immunodominant sites of the F protein.


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