OBJECTIVE: The purpose of this study was to determine the accessibility of monoclonal antibody (McAb), specific for the major cell surface protein antigen (PAg) of Streptococcus sobrinus, to the surface of its native epitopes. MATERIALS AND METHODS: An indirect immunogold labeling technique was used to detect the reaction of McAb with S. sobrinus 6715. The reactions of polyclonal antibodies (PcAbs) against S. sobrinus 6715 or PAg with S. sobrinus 6715, S. mutans Ingbritt C and S. rattus BHT were studied as controls. RESULTS: The results indicated that PAg was localized on the outer cell surface of S. sobrinus, and McAb was reactive with only a few epitopes of the cell surface, whereas PcAbs were found to be reactive with more epitopes. CONCLUSIONS: McAb was specific for the PAg, but there was cross-reaction with S. mutans. Also there seemed to be an association between the fuzzy coat on the surface of S. sobrinus and PAg.