A solid phase radioimmunoassay (RIA) for the detection of antibodies to myelin basic protein (MBP) in sera has been developed employing MBP-coated flexible polyvinylchloride microtiter trays and [125I]protein-A as the radiolabel. [125I]Protein-A directly binds to the Fc region of serum IgG from several animal species and serves as an excellent reagent for detecting antibody. It can also be used to bind to a second antibody ligand, thereby making it useful even when it does not bind directly to the primary antibody Fc region. The use of one preparation of [125I]protein-A label allows sera from several species to be tested for antibodies to MBP simultaneously, thereby making this RIA technically simple, rapid and economical. This assay has been particularly useful in examining serum samples from animals with experimental autoimmune encephalomyelitis and hypomyelinogenisis congenita. In patients with multiple sclerosis low levels of antibody to MBP can be detected in cerebrospinal fluid (CSF) and acid-eluted extracts from brain plaque material; detection of low levels of antibody in human serum has not been possible due to non-specific binding of human serum Ig in this RIA.