Echinococcus granulosus cyst fluid and E. multilocularis protoscolex extract were fractionated by a single step of preparative isoelectric focusing, resulting in an antigen B-rich fraction (8-kD) and an Em18-rich fraction, respectively. The usefulness of both fractions for differential serodiagnosis of cystic (CE) and alveolar (AE) echinococcosis was evaluated by a large-scale immunoblot analysis on a battery of 354 serum samples. These included 66 from AE patients originating from four different endemic areas, 173 from CE patients originating from seven different endemic areas, 71 from patients with other parasitic diseases, 15 from patients with hepatomas, and 29 from healthy individuals. In an immunoblot with the antigen B-rich fraction, 92% (158 of 173) of the CE sera as well as 79% (52 of 66) of the AE sera reacted with the 8-kD subunit. No cross-reactivity occurred with any sera from patients with cysticercosis, other parasitic diseases, or with hepatomas, or from healthy controls. In an immunoblot with the Em18-rich fraction, all but two sera from AE patients (64 of 66, 97%) recognized Em18, and only nine of 34 CE sera from China reacted with it. All other (139) CE sera from six other countries were negative as were all (115) other non-echinococcosis sera. These findings indicate that antigen B (8-kD) is not species-specific for E. granulosus but is genus-specific for Echinococcus, and that the Em18 antigen is a reliable serologic marker for species-specific differentiation of AE from CE.