To determine whether there was a correlation between the kinetics or frequency of antibody to mammalian-derived hepatitis C virus (HCV) second envelope protein (E2) and development of chronicity or self-limitation of HCV infections, serial sera were examined for anti-E2, anti-HCV with confirmation with Matrix 2.0 (Abbott Laboratories, Abbott Park, IL), and reverse transcriptase-polymerase chain reaction (RT-PCR) from 6 cases of self-limited infection and 6 cases of chronic infection in chimpanzees, and from 5 cases of self-limited infection and 3 cases of chronic infection in patients. Anti-E2 developed earlier, more frequently, and to higher titer in chimpanzees and patients who were developing chronic infection than in those with self-limited infections. Thus anti-E2 is unlikely to play a role in self-limitation of the infection. However, long-term persistence of anti-E2 correlates with chronic infection. There was little or no correlation between the timing of development of anti-E2 and anti-HCV.