A new continuous epitope of hepatitis A virus (HAV) was defined in the VP3 protein. Convalescent sera recognised the synthetic peptide 3110-3121 (FWRGDLVFDFQV). The replacement of the arginine, glycine, or aspartic acid at positions 112, 113, or 114, respectively by other amino acids induced the loss of synthetic peptide recognition by human convalescent sera, thereby confirming the presence of an epitope in the original VP3(110-121) sequence. Shorter VP3 peptides such as VP3(110-119). VP3(110-117), and VP3(110-116) and a tandem repeat of VP3(111-116) failed to react with convalescent sera, indicating the importance of the entire peptide in the epitope structure. The maximum inhibition of human convalescent binding to HAV by the VP3(110-121) peptide was around 60%, and 50% inhibition was achieved at a peptide concentration of 2.3-2.4 micrograms/ml. Antibodies generated by this peptide bound to intact HAV and neutralised its infectivity. Antipeptide antibodies inhibited convalescent serum binding to HAV. Monoclonal antibodies H7C27 and MAK-4E7 inhibited completely binding of the antipeptide antibodies to HAV.