Multiple antigenic peptides (MAPs) prepared for the predicted antigenic determinants on the VP2 protein of infectious bursal disease virus (IBDV) were used as antigens in enzyme-linked immunosorbent assay (ELISA)--an alternative to whole viral antigen to detect anti-IBDV antibodies in the chicken sera. Two MAPs were synthesized, which could specifically detect the anti-IBDV antibodies in serum samples by ELISA. The optimum quantity of MAP1 and MAP2 required to coat the wells of the ELISA plate was 5 ng/ml, whereas the amount of purified IBDV whole viral antigen was 500 ng/ml, indicating the high efficiency of MAPs. In this study, we mainly focused on the antigenicity of two eight-branched MAPs to detect anti-IBDV antibodies in ELISA, which would serve as safe, chemically defined, noninfectious alternative antigens to whole virus in serodiagnosis. The specificity and sensitivity of both MAP1 and MAP2 were found to be relatively better than the whole viral antigen.