Borna disease virus infection is diagnosed by the presence of serum antibodies reactive with the major viral proteins, p40 and p23. Although p40 and p23 are unrelated in amino acid sequence structure, cross-reactive antibodies are described. Protein fragments and synthetic peptides were analyzed to characterize the specificities of antibodies to p23. Epitope mapping revealed eight continuous epitopes accessible on the surface of a predicted structural model for the monomeric and the disulfide-linked dimeric forms of p23. None of these epitopes was reactive with antibodies to p40. Cross-reactivity with monospecific sera and monoclonal antibodies to p40 was found for one discontinuous epitope located at the amino terminus of p23.