Serological diagnosis of herpes simplex virus (HSV) infections requires assays based on antigens that expose type-specific determinants. This study was designed to outline the B-cell epitopes of the type-specific glycoprotein G-1 (gG-1) of HSV type 1 (HSV-1), by investigating the reactivity of human anti-gG-1 antibodies, purified from 21 HSV-1-isolation-proven patient sera, to cellulose-bound synthetic peptides spanning the entire gG-1 sequence. The epitope mapping demonstrated that these antibodies bound preferentially to antigenic determinants that localized to regions with a high degree of amino acid similarity to the corresponding glycoprotein in HSV-2, gG-2. In spite of this, the purified anti-gG-1 antibodies were found to be non-reactive to native gG-2 antigen, as well as to overlapping gG-2 peptides, thus supporting the role of gG-1 as a prototype HSV-1 type-specific antigen. One immunodominant region, delimited by amino acids 112–127, reacted with all purified anti-gG-1 antibodies and may be of interest for the further development of a peptide-based HSV-1 type-specific seroassay.


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