The possibility of using a recombinant fragment of the CagA (128 kDa protein) for the diagnosis of Helicobacter pylori infection was evaluated. Following cloning of the gene coding for the CagA, a recombinant fragment of it was expressed in Escherichia coli, purified and used in Western blot and an EIA to screen sera from 82 patients with gastroduodenal disease who underwent endoscopic examination. In Western blot, good correlation was found between the serological data obtained with the recombinant antigen and those obtained using non-purified extracts of Helicobacter pylori. The EIA using the antigen showed a sensitivity of 96.2% and a specificity of 96.6% compared with Western blot. These data indicate that the recombinant protein is a reliable antigen for detection of infections with Helicobacter pylori strains that are associated with disease. The EIA assay described may be used in follow-up of the progression of the illness and the results of therapy.