Mycobacterium tuberculosis secretes a number of proteins into the extracellular environment, some of which are restricted to the M. tuberculosis complex. These proteins are targets for T- and B-cell immune responses in tuberculosis (TB) patients and their contacts. The authors have mapped the immunogenic regions of the MPT64 protein of M. tuberculosis using peripheral blood mononuclear cells (PBMC) from TB patients and a set of overlapping peptides encompassing the complete sequence of the protein. T-cell epitopes which induced proliferation or interferon-gamma (IFN-gamma) release were distributed over the full length of the protein. A C-terminal region of the protein, however, contains sequences recognized in the context of multiple HLA-DR phenotypes by more than 80% of the subjects tested. The nature of the T-cell response was further investigated by generating MPT64-specific T-cell lines. These lines also identified the T-cell epitopes in the C-terminal region of the protein. On stimulation with antigen the lines secreted IFN-gamma, but not interleukin 4 (IL-4). A minority of TB patients (6/32) mounted an antibody response to MPT64. Sera from half (3/6) of these identified two linear antibody binding sites. These results confirm the significance of this protein in the immune response to tuberculosis infection.