The monoclonal antibody 5C10/66 was shown to afford strong protection in mice against fulminating Plasmodium chabaudi adami infection. This was remarkable, as immunity to this organism is regarded to be mainly T-cell mediated. This antibody identified a 250-kDa molecule in schizonts and an 83-kDa fragment in merozoites. A cDNA clone selected by 5C10/66 was the homologue of the Plasmodium falciparum precursor to the major merozoite surface antigen (PMMSA). Comparison with the P. falciparum sequence showed that the P. chabaudi adami clone encoded the middle portion of the gene and that it can also be divided into variable and conserved blocks. Screening of a set of all possible octamer peptides predicted by the cDNA clone revealed that the core epitope of 5C10/66 was Glu-Thr-Thr-Glu-Thr. This region resides in a variable block of PMMSA.