Thirty two mouse ascitic fluids containing monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) directed against the hexon of human adenovirus type 1 were examined. The type and degree of cross-reactivity (CR) of the MAbs were determined by ELISA and hemagglutination methods with 10 heterologous hexon types. The similarity and the dissimilarity of the MAbs was also characterized by the correlation coefficient calculated from their reactivity values. On the basis of these, the 32 MAbs could be divided into five groups and fourteen individual MAbs, which altogether recognized 19 distinct epitopes. One of the recognized epitopes is the genus specific epitope of adenovirus hexons; the others are interspecies specific ones which can be found on the surface of the different hexon types in characteristic, mosaic-like combinations. The type and degree of CR of the MAbs lead to the conclusion that there exists a close antigenic relationship among the members of subgenus C of human adenoviruses and there is also a definite antigenic relationship between subgenera C and D. Hexons belonging to the oncogenic subgenera A and B display a much looser antigenic relationship with subgenus C.
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