In horseradish peroxidase (EC: 126.96.36.199)-dependent immunoblot assays, particulate 3,3',5,5'-tetramethylbenzidine (TMB) is shown to be a more efficient immunoblot substrate than the standard substrate 3,3'-diaminobenzidine (DAB), because TMB is easily prepared, stable, and less carcinogenic than is DAB. Assays of antibody in a serially diluted human immunodeficiency virus (HIV) control serum (CDC reference CAT# VS2151) have the same sensitivity limits with both DAB and TMB (1:312,500). Complete, working substrate solutions of H2O2/TMB/enhancer and of H2O2/DAB were stored at room temperatures and at 48 degrees C respectively. Periodic tests showed the TMB substrate system to be functional after four weeks at 48 degrees C and after eight weeks at room temperature, while the DAB system was functional after one week at 48 degrees C and after four weeks at room temperature. The stability, safety, and convenience of the commercially available TMB kits make this substrate ideal for immunoblot tests.