Glycoprotein G is a major target for the humoral immune response against herpes simplex virus (HSV) and a prototype antigen for type-specific serodiagnosis discriminating HSV-1 and HSV-2 infections. The mature part of HSV-2 glycoprotein G-2 (gG-2) contains a unique stretch suspected to mediate type specificity, and in addition a region homologous to HSV-1 glycoprotein G-1 (gG-1). Antigenic determinants of the mature gG-2 were mapped by testing the reactivity of mouse anti-gG-2 monoclonal antibodies (MAbs) and purified human anti-gG-2 antibodies with synthetic peptides coupled to cellulose membranes. The anti-gG-2 MAbs bound to four epitopes localized in a narrow cluster within a gG-2 segment delimited by amino acids (aa) 552 and 611. This cluster was located between the predicted O-glycan-rich region and the transmembrane anchor sequence. The epitopes of the human anti-gG-2 antibodies were localized within three stretches of amino acids, two of which were overlapping with those recognized by anti-gG-2 MAbs. One of these stretches, delimited by aa 552 and 574, showed reactivity to all human HSV-2 sera tested, but not to HSV-1 sera or to purified anti-gG-1 antibodies. Neither the anti-gG-2 MAbs nor the purified human anti-gG-2 antibodies were cross-reactive to gG-1 peptides or HSV-1 antigen, although most of the epitopes were localized within the part of gG-2 which was homologous to gG-1. The findings concerning HSV-2 type-specific human antibody response to a defined stretch within gG-2 may be of importance for the further development of type-discriminating serodiagnosis.