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Antigenic diversity among 19 southern African isolates of Plasmodium falciparum was demonstrated using a panel of 9 monoclonal antibodies. Parasites obtained from single patients were heterogeneous. The antigen composition of 9 isolates was not stable with time in culture, particularly not with respect to 4 of the monoclonal antibodies. By the end of the investigation, 70% of isolates displayed an identical antigen pattern which was markedly different to any obtained in other parts of the world. Differences may be due to geographic origin of parasites or to variation in culture conditions.