S-antigens are soluble heat-stable antigens released into the circulation at the time of schizogony of Plasmodium falciparum. Many serologically distinct S-antigens exist and we have shown that this diversity results from repetitive sequences that vary in repeat number, length, sequence and/or reading frame among different S-antigens. We present here the complete sequence of the S-antigen of a Vietnamese isolate V1. The major repeat of 33 base-pairs can be considered to be derived by a deletion event from a 45 base-pair sequence that is located at the 3' repeat boundary and is related in sequence to all S-antigen repeats known so far. We also show that the non-repetitive coding region of the S-antigen gene of V1 is identical to that of K1 and only two amino acids different to that of NF7. In contrast, the sequences are considerably different to those of the FC27 and Wellcome isolates. We conclude that S-antigen genes are highly polymorphic in the repetitive regions but show more restricted diversity in non-repetitive regions.